Universität der Bundeswehr München
|Hochschule der Bundeswehr München|
|President||Merith Niehuss [de]|
|915 (197 professors)|
140 hectares (350 acres)
Bundeswehr University Munich (German: Universität der Bundeswehr München, UniBw München) is one of only two research universities in Germany at federal level that both were founded in 1973 as part of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). Originally called Hochschule der Bundeswehr München the institution was supposed to offer civilian academic education for military officers. As an uncommon feature amongst German universities Universität der Bundeswehr München unifies a more theoretical research university division and a more practical-oriented College of Applied Sciences branch. Today, the university has an increasing number of civilian and international students. The academic year at the university is structured in trimesters and not the usual semesters, to offer intensive studies with more credit points per year. Very capable students can therefore achieve a bachelor's and a master's degree within less than four years, while this would usually require five years. Universität der Bundeswehr München has well-established scientific research and forms part of two excellence clusters of the German government's university excellence initiative. Bundeswehr University is one of only very few campus universities in Germany.
In 1970 the then minister of defence Helmut Schmidt decided that the education of military officers in Germany had to be reviewed and had to include full academic studies. After one year the Ellwein commission presented its proposal for the creation of two civilian colleges within the armed forces. Students should get fully recognised civilian degrees independent of their military profession, to have a higher qualified officer corps and more incentives to join the military. The idea was that students would have better conditions than at normal universities so that they could cope with a higher workload and study faster. After almost two years of discussions and the necessary legislative procedures, both universities could open. University education normally being a responsibility of the German states, Universität der Bundeswehr München and Helmut Schmidt University are the only federal universities in Germany. With their innovative concepts Helmut Schmidt University and Universität der Bundeswehr München quickly became widely known as reform universities within the very traditional German university landscape. In the following years the universities had to establish their image and reputation and finally were accepted as full universities with the rights to award doctorate degrees as well as Habilitations to qualify university professors in the 80s. In the 90s and 2000s the university has started to open its teaching towards civilian students and to extend its international relations. While the researchers and doctorate students always used to be mainly civilians, the student body still had been purely military in the 90s. Today, Universität der Bundeswehr München has concluded partnership contracts with different major financial and industrial companies, which send students to Universität der Bundeswehr München. In the past few years different federal agencies have started to qualify their employees at the university. Since 2007 Universität der Bundeswehr München has changed its degree to the harmonized Bologna system. It has completely restructed its curriculums and awards bachelor's and master's degrees instead of the former German Diplom.
The university is located in Neubiberg in the south of Munich, Bavaria. There are S-Bahn and U-Bahn connections to Neuperlach Süd as well as three bus connections available. In addition to that, there are motorway exits at Neubiberg and Neuperlach, permitting fast access by car. The large campus used to host the Air Force officer school before, and also included a military airport. Former runways are still used for scientific testing of vehicles. Since the 1970s a large number of buildings have been built for teaching, scientific research and student housing. Most of the students live in modern individual student dormitories on the campus and next to the university buildings. There is currently a large renovation process ongoing on the campus: within the next years about € 220m will be spent on building activities. On campus students have access to different sports facilities like gyms, tennis courts and golf ranges. Different multinational engineering companies have their headquarters or important industrial facilities directly next to the campus, most notably Siemens, Infineon Technologies, Bosch and Siemens Household Appliances (BSH), and EADS facilitating frequent cooperation in research.
On campus all students (also the military ones) usually wear civilian clothes. Students can organize their activities as they want and attendance to lectures is mostly voluntary. On Wednesday afternoons there is regularly military or language training for soldiers. There are many possibilities for extracurricular activities within student initiatives and associations. International initiatives like the German-American, German-Israeli or German-Hispanic clubs as well as the Model United Nations Society play an important role on the campus. The students of each student dormitory usually organize a large party every year.
As a large part of the student body consists of military officers and officer candidates, sport is considered important on the campus. The sports center provides a variety of free courses for students – e.g. for different martial arts. There are a lot of sports facilities like gyms, different sports halls, a golf course, a large climbing wall, an indoor swimming pool, several tennis courts and other sports grounds. Furthermore, the university has a large military obstacle course which was used for the CISM world cup in 2009. There are different sports teams on the campus which also take part in the university championships.
Every student as well as the public has access to the more than one million volumes in the university library. The library is linked to the academic library network of Bavaria which allows interlibrary loans.
The organization of Universität der Bundeswehr München is similar to a usual university. 1,100 (non-military) employees, among them 163 full professors, serve the approximately 3,400 students. The university is led by a civilian president and three vice presidents. The incumbent president, Merith Niehuß, is the only female university president in Bavaria. The administration is headed by the Chancellor. A difference to most other universities is that the structure of education and research is split up between normal university part with seven university faculties and a Fachhochschule (College of Applied Sciences) part with three more faculties. Furthermore, the structure contains central services like the computing center, the large university library, a media center with state-of-the-art technology, a language service and the sport services. In addition to that the university has two further research institutes. The department for special services includes the Studium+ institute for interdisciplinary studies, the CASC center for postgraduate studies as well as some further services. Another difference to other universities is the military division which is responsible for the administration and training of military students. Decisions are made by the board, the extended board and the administration council (Senate and University Council). The university has about 850 non-scientific employees in addition to the about 570 scientific employees as well as additional military personnel.
Similar to some other military run universities like the École Polytechnique the university only offers civilian study courses. The contents generally have no relation to the military and correspond to courses at regular German universities. Bachelor´s and Master´s studies in total consist of 400 ECTS credit points. Due to this there also is a small number of highly gifted civilian students who are sponsored by industrial and financial companies like Allianz, Bosch or Munich Re. In addition to that other German ministries and federal institutions like Bundesnachrichtendienst also educate some of their employees at the university. In cooperation with George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies a course of studies for senior leaders (International Strategic Studies) has been introduced. The university also has international students and offers individual mentoring and tutoring programmes. Universität der Bundeswehr has concluded partnership contracts with an increasing number of international universities. Furthermore, it is possible for civilians to receive a doctorate or to qualify as a university lecturer (Habilitation). All of the professors are civilians, and the number of professors per student is significantly higher than at normal German universities. Thus in general the conditions for teaching are better. In autumn 2009 the university introduced the first military-related engineering course of study called Defence Engineering, which is solely dedicated to civilian students from industrial companies and federal institutions. Military students of the university usually only have a maximum of 4 years to pass their master's within the intensive studies with more content. If they do not finish their bachelor's after 2+1⁄4 years with the necessary grades, they cannot proceed. As the studies have to be finished in a shorter time than at common German universities, the academic year consists of three trimesters instead of the normal two semesters.
|winter trimester||spring trimester||summer modules, internships etc.||autumn trimester|
The university has restructured its courses of study according to the Bologna treaty and offers bachelor's and master's degrees as well as doctoral and postdoctoral studies. Universität der Bundeswehr offers normal research university courses of studies as well as a few more practical oriented Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences) study courses. In total there are 37 Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes at Universität der Bundeswehr München.
The university is well established in different fields of research, especially when it comes to aeronautical engineering (e.g. participation in the GALILEO satellite program and development of different parts of space probes), computer-driven cars and information security. Bundeswehr University has the largest aviation and aerospace faculty in Germany. A main focus of the university are all kinds of security technology. The university is part of two excellence clusters of the German government universities excellence initiative (Cognition for Technical Systems and Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics). The university hosts the ESA Summer School on Global Navigation Satellite Systems and the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit. Bundeswehr University forms part of the joint research and academic center Munich Aerospace, founded in 2010 and the Bavarian International Campus Aerospace & Security, founded in 2012. The university also has a number of partner companies which rely on the universities research expertise and support the university with products and facilities for testing and research. To strengthen its research profile and enhance cooperation between the faculties, Bundeswehr University Munich has created several interdisciplinary research centers: SPACE, MOVE (Modern Vehicles), RISK (Risk, Infrastructure, Security and Conflict), MARC (Military Aviation Research Center), CODE (Cyber Defence). CODE is planned to have around 250 research personnel for Cyber Security. Germany's federal cyber security research agency Central Office for Information Technology in the Security Sector is to be moved with 400 employees to the Neubiberg campus of Universität der Bundeswehr München until 2023. With both organizations on campus the federal government aims to build up a cluster for cyber defence and security unique of its kind within Germany. In 2017 new Center for Intelligence and Security Studies (CISS) was created by the Universität der Bundeswehr München in cooperation with the Federal University for Public Administration, Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). Besides training future senior intelligence personnel the Center is engaged in intelligence and security research.
Universität der Bundeswehr München has partner universities worldwide. The following list shows some examples:
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