The History of the University
In 2008, Jena University celebrated its 450th anniversary. It was founded as an academic school by Prince-Elector Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous of Saxony in 1548. It was raised to the status of university by Emperor Ferdinand I in 1557 and opened as such in 1558.
Instead of an outline of the university's history, here are some facts:
In 1663, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a student of the scientist Erhard Weigel in Jena.
Friedrich Schiller was professor of history at Jena University between 1789 and 1799. At the same time Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, then State Minister of Saxe-Weimar, supported Jena University extraordinarily. He spent a lot of time in Jena.
Jena was the centre of classical German philosophy, hosting among others: Johann Gottlob Fichte (1794-1799), Friedrich-Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (from 1798), Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1805-1807).
Numerous renowned German poets, writers and dramatists studied at Jena University (Johann Christian Günther, Friedrich Gottlob Klopstock, Matthias Claudius, Friedrich Hölderlin, Novalis, Julius Mosen, Clemens Brentano, Gerhard Hauptmann, Kurt Tucholsky).
World-famous pedagogues such as Christian Gotthilf Salzmann, Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel, Peter Petersen (Jenaplanschule) studied or taught in Jena.
Johann Wolfgang Doebereiner (Professor of Chemistry, 1810-1849) was the first to organise the chemical elements by means of "triads".
Ernst Haeckel (Professor of Zoology, 1834-1909) was the most distinguished representative of evolution theory in Germany.
The physicist Hans Busch (Professor of Applied Physics, 1922-1947) worked on electron optics and developed the basic principles of electron microscopy.
The Jena psychiatrist and neurologist Hans Berger (professor, 1906-1938) developed the diagnostic method of electroencephalography (EEG).
The optician and mechanic Carl Zeiss, the physicist Ernst Abbe and the glass chemist Otto Schott formed an impressive collaboration at the end of the 19th century, a unique example of cooperation between science and industry that has been shaping the profile of scientific research at Jena University to this day.
Today the Friedrich Schiller University Jena is a university on the move. With about 18,400 enrolled students, it is one of Germany's fastest growing universities. Despite the fact that the number of students has quadrupled since 1989, the university is not overcrowded. More than 2,000 lecturers and researchers ensure quality teaching and training commensurate with a classic university. In addition, more than 1,300 scientists and technical staff work on research projects financed by outside sponsors.
At the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the International Office assists all international students and can direct them to the department responsible for answering any questions they may have. Jena University has ERASMUS agreements with more than 200 European partners and 30 bilateral agreements with partners in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the USA, Canada, and Japan. 2,200 international students come from 85 countries.
There is a comprehensive programme of counselling, administrative support, language courses, and tutoring for incoming students. The International Office also arranges accommodation for students who come to Jena on exchange or scholarship programmes.
The rooms in the student residences are distributed by Student Services ("Studentenwerk Thueringen": http://www.stw-thueringen.de). Private apartments are also available, but students must find them on their own. Student tutors assist incoming students by meeting them at the train station, showing them to their rooms, introducing them to the university and its facilities, familiarising them with the city of Jena, introducing them to student life, and helping them with their paperwork. Student associations and groups offer a wide variety of joint activities and events, tandem language courses, concerts, excursions, etc., all of which help the international students to feel welcome and integrated. The Language Centre offers German language courses at several different levels.