University of Göttingen (Germany)

By | February 9, 2022

The University of Göttingen is the largest and oldest university in the region of Lower Saxony. It opened its doors in 1737. Around 26,000 students are enrolled, and since 2007 the center has been working with the concept of the future within the framework of the excellence initiative. A relevant aspect is the university network established with other research institutions in the city, such as the Göttingen Academy of Sciences, the five Max Planck Institutes, the German Aerospace Center and the German Primate Center.

Other names of this university are:

  • Göttingen Institute
  • Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Georgia Augusta University

In the city as a whole, 24,000 inhabitants are students of the 13 faculties of the University of Göttingen. Statistics reveal that it is a mecca for students, not only within Europe, but also in the world. The reason is none other than the prestige and recognition of the university, based on the personalities of science that have given it renown at levels that are difficult to match.

History

Founded in 1734 by George II, Elector of Hanover and King of Great Britain. It opened its doors to students in 1737. It soon achieved a prominent position in the world of science. Already in 1823 it had 1,547 students. It started with four faculties (Theology, Medicine, Law and Literature) and soon became one of the most visited universities in Europe.

According to bridgat, the Hanoverian government in 1734 under Georg August (“elector” of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg), together with George II, King of England, decided to move the seat of the new university from the principality of Hanover to Göttingen. In order to found a new university, a privilege from the emperor was needed, which was obtained from Charles VI on January 13, 1733.

The first subject was taught on October 14, 1734, in an old barn. The teacher was Samuel Christian Hollmann, today forgotten. In the first semester, 147 students were enrolled in Göttingen. The first curator of the university was the minister and secret adviser Gerlach Adolph von Münchhausen (1688-1770), a cousin of the famous Baron of Münchhausen (who went down in history as a compulsive liar).

Soon he got a prominent position in the world of science. Already in 1823 it had 1547 students. It started with four faculties (Theology, Medicine, Law and Literature) and soon became one of the most visited universities in Europe.

The university library was started at the same time as the university. Due to the importance and quantity of material, it soon became one of the most important in Germany and the prototype of a modern library. The books were ordered with a new cataloging system. From 1763 to 1812 the library was under the supervision of Christian Gottlob Heyne who was at the same time professor of classical philology. In 1738 the Theatrum Anatomicum was built, in 1739 the botanical garden and in 1751 the first observatory opened its doors. You can still visit the historic prison in the Lecture Hall on Wilhelmsplatz, where students who had violated university regulations were imprisoned. The university had exclusive jurisdiction over the students.

Organization

The university has 13 faculties and an enrollment of 24,000 students. 2,500 professors and other university students work there, assisted by nearly another 8,000 technicians who work in the administration. In the postwar period, its expansion led to the establishment of a new ‘university’ quarter to the north of the city, situated at Weende. The architecture of the old university can be seen in the Auditorium Maximum (1826/1865) or the Great Hall (1835/1837) on Wilhelmsplatz.

The university library (Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, SUB) holds more than 4.5 million precious books and manuscripts. The Academy of Sciences, originally called the “Royal Society for Science”, and four research institutes of the Max Planck Society for the Promotion of Science collaborate with the university.

In the old library there is one of the most important collections of German literature from the 18th and 19th centuries. All students have access to these books, but they cannot be borrowed from the library. The old library, in the center of the city, reflects the brightness of the university beginnings of this center. The Lower Saxony State and University Library on the Humanities campus is the modern face of the university: manageable, spacious and modern.

Other institutes are located within the old center. The university has eight canteens and six canteens serving affordable meals for students. The Wilhelmsplatz dining room (Old Dining Room) also served dinner until it was closed in 2009.

Faculties

It currently has 13 faculties with 80 specialties

The university campus is spread over several sites inside and outside the city: The central university complex with the central library and dining hall, as well as the faculties of Law, Economics, Theology and Linguistics is located just north of the old center. Nearby are the faculties of Psychology, Ethnology and Pedagogy. On the edge of the city is the northern campus (Nordbereich) with the faculties of Natural Sciences ( Chemistry, Microbiology, Plant Pathology, Agronomy, Forestry, Geology and Physics ).

Professors of routes by the Institute

In 1770 Georg Christoph Lichtenberg was appointed professor of physics, mathematics and astronomy and has contributed to discoveries that are valid until now. He is considered a universal scholar who did not even leave works related to the natural sciences but philosophical and satirical, particularly in the news about him (Sudelbücher). He was the first German professor of experimental physics. His subject history of experimental physics in its basic elements can also be visited today at the university. So partly historical objects are used. Soon after its constitution the university developed a highly advanced library system. The connection with England through the personal union of its sovereigns attracted many English and American scholars.

Composition of teaching at the Institute

The mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, was a professor, and made important discoveries there. The university has 13 faculties and an enrollment of 24,000 students. 2,500 professors and other university students work there, assisted by nearly another 8,000 technicians who work in administration. In the postwar period, its expansion led to the establishment of a new “university” quarter to the north of the city, located in Weende. The architecture of the old university can be seen in the Auditorium Maximum (1826/1865) or the Great Hall (1835/1837) on Wilhelmsplatz. The university library (Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, SUB) holds more than 4.5 million precious books and manuscripts. The Academy of Sciences, originally called “Royal Society for Sciences”,

Personalities and Nobel laureates

So far, 44 Nobel Prize winners have worked in Göttingen, including Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976), who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 for formulating the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics, and Bert Sakmann (born in 1942) who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1991 for his discoveries on the function of ion channels in cells.

The international reputation of the university is based on many eminent professors who are honored with commemorative statues and plaques distributed throughout the city. For example, in the 19th century, Carl Friedrich Gauss and the Brothers Grimm taught here. More recently 42 Nobel prize laureates studied or taught in Göttingen, and many students played important roles in history, such as Otto von Bismarck, who studied in Göttingen and lived in a small house on the wall. That house is known today as Bismarckhäuschen.

Curiosities

  • Georg Christoph Lichtenberg appointed professor of physics, mathematics and astronomy who has contributed to discoveries that are valid until now. He is considered a universal scholar who did not even leave works related to the natural sciences but rather philosophical and satirical ones, particularly in the news about him (Sudelbücher). He was the first German Professor of Experimental Physics.
  • A treasure of the university are its books. In the old library there is one of the most important collections of German literature of the 18th and 19th centuries, it has more than 4.5 million precious books and manuscripts. All students have access to these books, but they cannot be checked out from the library.
  • One of the most notorious personalities was the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, who worked as a teacher and made important discoveries there.
  • As a closing curiosity, Göttingen has the cemetery with the most Nobel Prize winners per square metre, with personalities such as Dirac, Oppenheimer, Planck, Fermi, Heisenberg and Pauli.

University of Göttingen (Germany)