Through the implementation of its institutional strategy "International Network University," Freie Universität Berlin has made great progress in internationalization, in the development of research, and in providing support for junior researchers. Specific formats of funding support, strategic consultation, and the establishment of a large range of services have strengthened the future viability of Freie Universität in many ways: the number of international projects has increased, the university’s regional and transregional visibility has been enhanced, and its strategic planning capability has been strengthened.
Institutional change occurs in the longer term. Thus, not every addition to the list of Freie Universität’s accomplishments is due to the national Excellence Initiative. The first phase of funding was too short for that. As far back as the 1990s, Freie Universität underwent an extensive restructuring and made a virtue out of the imposed budgetary constraints.
The effects of these processes are ongoing. In recent years, however, ideal conditions for top-level research have been created, enabling researchers at Freie Universität to develop their full research potential.These accomplishments and not least of all the so-called "spill-over" effects – that is, the positive effects for sections of the university that have benefited only indirectly from measures associated with the institutional strategy – were explicitly commended by the international panel of experts of the Excellence Initiative in 2012.