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The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) (German: Karlsruher Institut für Technologie) is a public research university and one of the largest research and education institutions in Germany.
KIT was created in 2009 when the University of Karlsruhe (Universität Karlsruhe), founded in 1825 as public research university and also known as "Fridericiana", merged with the Karlsruhe Research Center Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, which was originally established as a national nuclear research center (Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe, or KfK) in 1956.
KIT is one of the leading universities in the Engineering and Natural Sciences in Europe, ranking sixth overall in citation impact.KIT is a member of the TU9 German Institutes of Technology e.V. As part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative KIT was accredited with the excellence status in 2006. In the 2011 performance ranking of scientific papers, Karlsruhe ranked first in Germany and among the top ten universities in Europe in engineering and natural sciences.
In the 2015 QS World University Rankings the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology achieved 93rd place in the global ranking across all disciplines and 62nd and 34th place in engineering and natural sciences, respectively. In the 2013 Taiwan ranking, KIT (world rank 61) remained the best German University in the engineering and natural sciences, ranked in the engineering sciences ahead of the RWTH Aachen (world rank 89), the Technical University of Munich (world rank 94) and the Technical University of Dresden (world rank 108). For the natural sciences KIT (world rank 51) led the domestic comparison against the LMU Munich (world rank 62), the University of Heidelberg (world rank 72) and the Technical University of Munich (world rank 81). Ranked 26th place in Computer Science in the Times Higher Education Ranking 2016, KIT is one of the leading universities in Computer Science in Europe as well as the world.
As of 2016, 6 Nobel laureates are affiliated with KIT. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is well known for many inventors and entrepreneurs such as Karl Friedrich Benz or the founders of SAP.
History of KIT
The University of Karlsruhe was founded as Polytechnische Schule, a polytechnical school, on 7 October 1825. It was modelled upon the École polytechnique in Paris. In 1865, Grand Duke Friedrich I of Baden raised the school to the status of a Hochschule, an institution of higher education. Since 1902 the university has also been known as the Fridericiana in his honour. In 1885, it was declared a Technische Hochschule, or institute of technology, and in 1967 it became an Universität, a full university, which gave it the right to award regular doctorate degrees. It had hitherto only been allowed to award doctorates in engineering, identified as Dr. Ing, a right bestowed on all technical institutes in 1899.
The University of Karlsruhe has been one of the leading German institutions in computer science. A central computer laboratory was founded in 1966. The department of informatics was established three years later, along with the first regular course in informatics. On 2 August 1984, the university received Germany's first email. The Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung (Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research) was founded at the university in 1985.
The university also cooperated extensively with the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Karlsruhe Research Centre), and this relationship was formalised on 6 April 2006 when Professor Horst Hippler and Dr. Dieter Ertmann from the University of Karlsruhe, and Professor Manfred Popp and Assistant Jur. Sigurd Lettow from Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe signed a contract for the foundation of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The name was chosen in emulation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the leading technical university in the United States. In February 2008, the merger of the university and the research centre to form KIT was agreed by the state of Baden-Württemberg and Germany's federal government. The necessary state law was passed on 8 July 2009. KIT was formally established on 1 October 2009.
The main reason for establishing KIT was to strengthen Karlsruhe's position in the German Universities Excellence Initiative, which offered elite universities grants of up to 50 million euros per annum. This aim was not achieved: while the University of Karlsruhe was chosen for the initiative in 2006/2007, KIT failed to secure a place in 2012. It did, however, attract funds from other sources. In 2008, Hans-Werner Hector, co-founder of SAP, raised 200 million euros to support researchers at the institute. (Hector is the only founder of SAP who did not graduate from the University of Karlsruhe; he was given an honorary doctorate for his support of intellectually gifted children in 2003.)
Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg
Year of first Accreditation - 1825
- KIT is one of the leading universities in the engineering and natural sciences in Europe, ranking sixth overall in citation impact.
- KIT is a member of the TU9 German Institutes of Technology e.V. As part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative KIT was accredited with the excellence status in 2006.
- In the 2011 performance-ranking of scientific papers, Karlsruhe ranked first in Germany and among the top 10 universities in Europe in engineering and natural sciences.
- In the 2013 QS World University Rankings, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology achieved 116th place in the global ranking across all disciplines and 33rd place in the engineering sciences.
- In the 2013 Taiwan ranking, KIT leads as best German university in the engineering and natural sciences.
- As in 2012, KIT (world rank 61) remained ranked as the top university for engineering sciences in Germany, before the RWTH Aachen (world rank 89), the Technical University of Munich (world rank 94) and the Technical University of Dresden (world rank 108).
- For the natural sciences, KIT (world rank 51) leads the domestic comparison against the LMU Munich (world rank 62), the University of Heidelberg (world rank 72), and the Technical University of Munich (world rank 81).
- According to the Ranking of Scientific Impact of Leading European Research Universities, an official document compiled by the European Commission, Karlsruhe ranks second nationally and sixth in Europe in terms of scholarly impact.
- With the exception of the department of biology, this university receives more funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft than any other university specializing in the natural sciences in Germany.
- In the engineering sciences (computer science, electrical and mechanical engineering), the university is in the top three together with University of Stuttgart and the RWTH Aachen. It also consistently ranks top in the course industrial engineering and management, concerning the overall study situation, as well as popularity with employers.
- More than 20% of its students are attracted from other nations and 0.6% of its students receive grants from the German Studienstiftung (German National Academic Foundation).
- In 1998, Science Watch described its chemistry faculty as belonging to "the cream of the crop in chemistry" internationally.
- In 2006, the University of Karlsruhe was chosen to be one of the first three universities with the best future concept within the scope of the German Universities Excellence Initiative. These universities have been called "elite universities" in general public and media from that day on.
- For many years, the department for Computer Science has been the number-one institution in this field in Germany. Hence, the University of Karlsruhe has established an international reputation.
- In the 2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the university was ranked 151st in the world.
Student life @KIT
Culture Centres and Institutes
- Studentisches Kulturzentrum am KIT (SKZ)
- Arbeitskreis Kultur und Kommunikation (AKK)
- Studentenzentrum Z10 (Z10)
- AStA Kulturreferat
- Kultur.Internationales.Soziales - Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe
- Unitheater Karlsruhe
- Schmitz' Katze - Improtheater
- Geistsoz-Theater am KIT
- Iranian Student Association Karlsruhe - Theatergruppe
- FEM Fatale - Impro-Theater
- Die Wahrhaft Schwachen - Kabarett und Kleinkunst
- Abgedreht - Die Filmgruppe am KIT
- Akademischer Filmkreis Karlsruhe - Das Kino an der Uni
- Collegium Musicum
- Jazzchor am KIT (JCK)
- KIT Kammerchor
- KIT Kammerorchester
- KIT Sinfonieorchester
- KIT Konzertchor
- KIT Big Band
- Uni Tanzorchester am KIT
- KIT Philharmonie
- Queerbeet Chor
Services of KIT
The KIT Library is the main library of KIT. Its two branches on Campus South and Campus North provide literature for research and study for about 25,000 students and 8000 scientists with a widespread, interdisciplinary book stock of over 2 million volumes, reports and 28,000 periodicals in print and electronic form. The emphasis of the collection lies on natural and engineering sciences.
KIT Library South
The 24-hour library at Campus South was extended in 2006. It became a 24-hour library with many working places and a relaxing area, and is now open around the clock. The combination of a special book security system and an automated issue desk make it possible to use the 1000 workplaces anytime, day or night. Current and contemporary literature is freely accessible in the four specialised reading rooms. Each reading room provides cross-linked, modern and well-equipped study and work stations as well as printers, scanners and copy machines.
KIT Library North
The research library at Campus North provides a large specialised book stock (especially reports and primary reports) on energy and nuclear energy. The complete literature is freely accessible to the user. Thirty modern workplaces, as well as printers, scanners, copy machines and cubicles for individual work are available.
Further libraries at KIT
Additional literature is located in the two specialised reading rooms for chemistry and physics, as well as in the Library of the University of Applied Sciences at Campus Moltkestrasse, which is administrated by the KIT Library. The faculty of physics, the faculty of mathematics, the faculty of computer science and the faculty of economics and management have got their own libraries to supply students and researchers with topic related literature.
Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE)
The CIE is an entrepreneurial driven platform for students, scientist and alumni of the KIT and the region Karlsruhe who are interested in starting a business. The CIE platform is developing towards an entrepreneur club where entrepreneurs support each other to raise successful businesses. Prospective entrepreneurs seek advise from the very first idea, how to develop business concepts and how to find co-workers. Founded in 2008 by two alumni of the KIT, the CIE offers a wide portfolio of services including consulting and concept development. The CIE also provides facilities like a StartUp-office where new entrepreneur teams can work on their ideas. All services are for free. Entrepreneurs who benefit from the active club are asked to support the CIE financially and with own services. As a project of the KIT, the CIE receives financial support from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the European Social Fund.