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Freie Universität Berlin Most Popular German University for Doctoral Students from China

Number of Ph.D. Students from the Far East More than Doubled in the Past Year

№ 264/2010 from Aug 26, 2010

Freie Universität Berlin is the most popular German university chosen by students with scholarships from the prestigious China Scholarship Council (CSC). In October, 50 CSC scholars will come to Dahlem. This is considerably more than LMU Munich (34), TU Munich (31), and RWTH Aachen University (26). Compared internationally, Freie Universität is in eleventh place and is on a par with the universities of Cambridge and Berkeley. In 2009, 20 CSC scholars had successfully applied for places in doctoral programs at Freie Universität Berlin.

Since 2008, Freie Universität and the China Scholarship Council have had a Primary Partnership. Young Chinese scholars who apply and are accepted by both Freie Universität and CSC receive CSC scholarships to work toward or complete the requirements for their doctorate. The liaison office of Freie Universität in Beijing is largely involved in the application procedures and preparatory measures. There are currently young Chinese researchers working on their doctorates in all subject areas at Freie Universität, most of them however in the Earth sciences, political and social sciences, physics, mathematics, and computer science.

The latest results of the Wissenschaft weltoffen report of the German Academic Exchange Service and the Higher Education Information System GmbH confirm the attractiveness of Freie Universität among foreign doctoral students and its success in attracting excellent international junior researchers. With a total of 750 registered doctoral students whose background does not include a German education, Freie Universität tops the German ranking, second only to the University of Heidelberg. Most of the doctoral students from abroad who enroll at Freie Universität complete their doctorates in political science, chemistry, biology, veterinary medicine, and philosophy.

Freie Universität, one of nine German universities approved for institutional funding in the government’s Excellence Initiative, pursues the strategy “International Network University.” Between 2007 and 2009, Freie Universität was able to expand its share of foreign scholars and scientists by two percentage points to 14 percent. For fellowships awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to outstanding researchers from abroad, Freie Universität Berlin and LMU Munich are the most attractive locations in Germany.

Further Information

  • Matthias Kuder, Center for International Cooperation, Freie Universität Berlin
    Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-73942, Email:
  • Caroline Neumann, Center for International Cooperation, Freie Universität Berlin
    Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-73943, Email: