Due in part to the founding history of the university, Freie Universität Berlin and its members know that a higher education institution has a special responsibility to give back to society, and they are dedicated to meeting that responsibility.
Freie Universität supports gender equality in a variety of ways, including in its appointment policies, internal university agreements on goals for research and teaching activities, and special programs. With women holding more than 30 percent of professorships, Freie Universität leads the nation in gender equality in tenured positions. The university has also received the Total E-Quality Award six times in a row for its exemplary personnel management policies, which aim to provide equal opportunity for all.
Women's and Gender Studies has a long tradition at Freie Universität. More than 60 professors conduct research and teach at Freie Universität Berlin in the field of gender research.
The Margherita von Brentano Center is an innovative, flexible structure that the university established with the intention of strengthening both areas of activity, creating a platform for dialog between the two, and paving the way for new forms of cooperation.
Freie Universität goes to extensive efforts to make having a family and pursuing a career compatible aims for everyone affiliated with the university. Freie Universität, the first family-friendly higher education institution in the German capital city, received certification under the Family-Friendly Higher Education Audit (audit familiengerechte Hochschule) program in 2007 and re-certification in 2011, 2014, and 2017. A dedicated Dual Career & Family Service of Freie Universität Berlin helps faculty and staff members and students balance family and work or an academic career.
The university’s certified environmental management system and a number of investments have allowed Freie Universität to slash its energy consumption by nearly one-quarter since the 2000/2001 academic year, in a space of just nine years. Freie Universität has garnered numerous awards for its excellent record in this field, including being a two-time winner (in 2003 and 2008) of the Climate Protection Award for Outstanding Public Institutions (Klimaschutz-Preis für herausragende öffentliche Einrichtungen), awarded by an initiative of the Berlin business community. Read more
Freie Universität offers a range of different activities and events to get children involved with science at an early age. During the Long Night of the Sciences (Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften), Freie Universität opens its doors to members of the public of all ages and offers a fun and entertaining look at science for children and teens.
At various times during the year, schoolchildren of various ages can also participate in one of the three labs for school-age students (Schülerlabore), in the KinderUni (Children’s University), or in the week-long program focused SchülerUni on sustainability and climate protection.
Older high school students are permitted to attend university classes even before earning their higher education entrance qualifications (Abitur) and earn credit for those classes later. The Center for Cooperation with Schools (Zentrum für Schulkooperationen) organizes and coordinates these activities.
At the same time, the university offers a number of continuing and professional education courses and workshops for teachers and others with a broader impact, including classes on cultural work with children or fostering reading skills.