With its approximately 28400 students and 4000 doctoral students, Freie Universität Berlin is one of the largest and most renowned research universities in Germany. In 2007, the university became one of Germany’s nine excellence universities by successfully reaching all funding criteria for the German Excellence Initiative, the major national research funding competition. Scholars and scientists teach and conduct research at Freie Universität Berlin‘s eleven departments, covering a nationally unique range of humanities and social science fields, as well as natural and life sciences. In addition, the university hosts three interdisciplinary institutes with a focus on regional studies, and co-hosts the Berlin Medical School, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, in collaboration with Humboldt-Universität Berlin.
Since its founding in 1948, Freie Universität Berlin has built highly valued international academic networks with partner institutions worldwide. With its strategic “International Network University" concept, the university continuously expands its international connections in research and teaching, and has established a global network of liaison offices in Cairo, Moscow, São Paulo, New York, Peking, Brussels and New Delhi. With about 1050 international doctoral students, 600 international visiting scholars every year, and the highest number of fellows from the renowned Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Freie Universität Berlin is among the most internationally well-known and popular German research institutions.
In India, Freie Universität Berlin has focused on establishing scientific collaboration with selected universities, such as JNU, DU, TERI and the University of Hyderabad. The most intense and successful collaborative projects in research and teaching so far have been created in the fields of environmental policy, German studies, political science and chemistry. The University of Hyderabad and Freie Universität Berlin together host one of the only two German-Indian International Graduate Schools (“Functional Molecular Infection Epidemiology”). Freie Universität Berlin is also one of the three German universities at which Indian students can use the “Dr Angela Merkel Master’s Scholarship for European Law”. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who received the 2009 Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, pledged to use the funds and match them towards the creation of a new scholarship program for Indian graduates in the field of European Law.
These activities are only the beginning. Freie Universität Berlin is keen on developing bi- and multilateral study programs with partner institutions in India, and wants to pursue opportunities for collaborative doctoral education within bilateral research projects with India’s most prestigious institutions. In light of the immense potential for cooperation, Freie Universität Berlin made the deliberate decision to count India among the target countries of its internationalization strategy.