Freie Universität as an Organization

Freie Universität, Campus Dahlem
Freie Universität Berlin, Dahlem Campus
Image Credit: Michael Riefler

The aim of Freie Universität Berlin is to offer scholars, scientists, and students the best possible conditions for studying and research. Continuous organizational development in the academic and administrative fields helps the university meet this goal.

Room for Individual Ideas

In comparison to other German universities, Freie Universität offers an especially high degree of autonomy in terms of individual ideas and decision-making. The “trial clause” (Erprobungsklausel) within the Higher Education Act (Hochschulgesetz) for the State of Berlin has made it possible “to try out new models of management, organization, and financing” in order to simplify decision-making processes and improve economic efficiency.

In 1999, Freie Universität passed its Partial Basic Rules and Regulations (Teilgrundordnung), enabling it to make use of the autonomy granted to it under the Higher Education Act. As a result, the responsibilities and duties of the university’s committees and other governing bodies have been streamlined and clarified, and the departments now bear a greater share of responsibility for their own operations and activities.

New Structures for Research

In addition to the traditional department and institute structures, five interdisciplinary research platforms called “focus areas” have been created over the past several years. For example, the Dahlem Humanities Center (DHC) acts as an umbrella organization for the university’s research in the humanities, as does the Center for Area Studies (CAS) in terms of region-specific activities in the humanities and social sciences at Freie Universität.