Free University of Berlin Medical Faculty, Germany

The Free University of Berlin  is a research universitylocated in Berlin, Germany. One of Germany’s most recognised universities, it is known for its research in the humanities and social sciences, as well as in the field of natural and life sciences.

Free University of Berlin was established by students and scholars on 4 December 1948. The foundation is strongly connected to the beginning of the Cold War period. The University of Berlin was located in the former Soviet sector of Berlin and was granted permission to continue teaching by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) in January 1946.

Most of the facilities of Free University of Berlin are located in the residential garden district of Dahlem in southwestern Berlin. Around the beginning of the 20th century, Dahlem was established as a center for research of the highest caliber. Academic activity in Dahlem was supported by Friedrich Althoff, Ministerial Director in the Prussian Ministry of Culture, who initially proposed the foundation of a “German Oxford”.The first new buildings housed government science agencies and new research institutes of the University of Berlin. The Kaiser Wilhelm Society – forerunner of the present-day Max Planck Society – was founded in 1911 and established several institutes in Dahlem.

The campus in Lankwitz, formerly part of a teacher training college, is now home to the department of Earth sciences and a part of the university archives. Until their move to Dahlem in 2008, the Institute for Media and Communication Studies was located there.

Most of the divisions of the Department of Veterinary Medicine are based in Düppel. It is 2 km southwest of the main campus and consists of numerous clinics and institutes, amongst them a small animal clinic, a clinic for horses and an institute of poultry diseases.

Since the formation of the FU in 1948, it has used public hospitals as part of the medical faculty. Between 1959 and 1969, the “Steglitz Clinic”, about 3 km southeast of Dahlem, was built with large financial supports of the United States. The medical center became one of the biggest European medical establishments unifying all institutes, clinics and lecture halls. In honor of the support by the United States, the clinic was renamed “University Clinic Benjamin Franklin”. In 1994, it consists of 36 scientific institutes and 1,200 hospital beds. After the merger in 2003, it became part of the Charité medical school.

With an inventory of 8.5 million volumes and over 25,000 journals distributed in the central university library (UB) and 49 specialized libraries of the institutes, the library system of the FU is the biggest in Germany. Items published since 1990 are fully digitalized and accessible through an OPAC. The UB is granted the status United Nations Depository Library and is linked to the global library system of the UN under direction of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York. The European Union also uses the UB as a European Documentation Center. As part of the library of the UN and the EU, it contains all publications of the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council, the International Court of Justice as well as publications from the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

With 33,000 applicants for the undergraduate programs (Bachelor) in 2013, admissions at Free University of Berlin remain highly competitive as the university only offers about 4,300 places each year.Due to the high numbers of applicants, most undergraduate programs at Free University of Berlin have limitations determined through the NC.

The Free University of Berlin operates foreign branch offices in New York City, Brussels, Moscow, Beijing, Cairo, and New Delhi. The foreign branch offices work to expand upon cooperation partnerships already existing with universities in the country.  Free University of Berlin has established over 400 partnerships in five continents, many of them as part of the European ERASMUS program. Every year, about 600 visiting scientists contribute to the university teaching and research. For the grant programs in Germany, Free University of Berlin is one of the first choices both for the ERASMUS and Tempus as well as for the Fulbright program and the international programs of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

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