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Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen
Giessen, Germany



   

University description (as per official university website)

A brief historical overview of Giessen University

Giessen University (the “Ludoviciana” or “Ludwigs-Universität,” and since the end of the Second World War “Justus-Liebig-Universität”) is one of the older universities in the German-speaking part of Europe. In the late Renaissance, students from Hesse generally had to go to the universities of Erfurt (founded 1392), Prague (1348), France or Italy to pursue their research and studies. After 1527, in the wake of the second great post-Reformation religious movement, it became possible to study closer to home in Marburg. As a result of religious and philosophical differences at Marburg, which turned Calvinist, the members of staff who remained loyal to the Lutheran faith moved in 1607 to the nearby town of Giessen, where Landgrave Ludwig V of Hessen-Darmstadt had created a new university. The rough-and-tumble of the Thirty Years War soon led, however, to a suspension of teaching at the “Ludoviciana” and re-location to Marburg (1624/1625). In 1650, the Peace of Westphalia rehabilitated Giessen University as a teaching institution.

Capsule portraits of the individual faculties, departments, and centers:
Faculty 01 – Law
Faculty 02 – Economics and Business Studies
Faculty 03 – Social Sciences and Cultural Studies
Faculty 04 – History and Cultural Studies
Faculty 05 – Language, Literature, Culture
Faculty 06 – Psychology and Sports Science
Faculty 07 – Mathematics and Computer Science, Physics, Geography
Faculty 08 – Biology and Chemistry
Faculty 09 – Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences, and Environmental Management
Faculty 10 – Veterinary Medicine
Faculty 11 – Medicine

Faculty 01 - Law

The term “Giessen Model” is very closely tied to the way in which Giessen’s law faculty operates. The model stands for reform-oriented teaching: Students profit from the streamlining of their course of study as much as they do from work in small groups and good ties to business. Students, teachers, and researchers alike praise the good contacts and direct pathways within the faculty. The professors and central facilities – such as the law and business library – are all located in one park-like area in the Licher Straße – convenient to traffic.

The recent, highly successful developments and achievements should, however, not let us forget the beginnings and past of the department: Law teaching and research have over 400 years of tradition at Giessen University. The law faculty was established in 1607 – the same year as the university. In the nineteenth century, the members of the Giessen law faculty included such brilliant researchers as Rudolf von Jhering (at Giessen from 1852 to 1868) and Franz von Liszt (at Giessen from 1879 to 1882). Following a period of closure in the wake of the Second World War, a combined law and business studies faculty was founded in 1964. The law faculty emerged from this in 1971.

Faculty 02 – Economics and Business Studies

Research and study in the Economics and Business Studies faculty are aimed at preparing students for the requirements of a modern service economy. Students, teachers, and guests from within Germany and beyond, as well as the scientific and business partners in the faculty’s many cooperative projects, praise the good campus atmosphere and the well-structured, transparent, and highly capable faculty. The institutes are located in a park-like area in the Licher Straße nestled among picturesque old trees. The origins of Economics and Business teaching at Giessen University go back to the year 1777, when the independent faculty of political economy was founded. The prominent head of the faculty was the leading German ‘physiocrat’ Johann August Schlettwein (1731-1802), professor of politics, single-entry bookkeeping, and finance. Following the premature dissolution of the faculty in 1785, most of its newly instituted practice-oriented subjects (including single-entry bookkeeping, veterinary medicine, agriculture, and forestry) found a home in the university’s philosophical or medical faculty.

Faculty 02 in its contemporary shape and form has existed since 1971 and emerged from the law and economics faculty which reopened in 1964. 1,800 students are currently enrolled in the faculty, which employs 16 professors. A great number of students from other faculties also study economics and business as a minor subject.

Faculty 03 – Social Sciences and Cultural Studies

Faculty 03 (Social Sciences and Cultural Studies) is characterized by an extraordinary range of subjects, courses of study, and research emphases covering politics, social studies, education, music. and art. The following institutions represent these subjects:

Institute of Political Science
Institute of Sociology
Institute of Teacher Training and Didactics of the Social Sciences
Institute of Education
Institute of Orthopedagogy and Special Education
Institute of Art Education
Institute of Musicology and Music Education
and the
Institute of Empirical and Applied Social Sciences (Inc.),
which also offers workshops and summer schools for postgraduate and postdoctoral students.
Cross-Disciplinary Cooperation

The wide range of subjects allows students and teachers alike to engage in initiatives and cooperative ventures across conventional subject borders. Here is an example: The Institute of Political Studies is represented in the Gießener Graduiertenzentrum Kulturwissenschaften (GGK) / International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC). The GCSC is a graduate centre that has been sponsored within the framework of the Initiative for Excellence since the autumn of 2006. Up until 2008, the sub-project “History Politics and Political Culture” maintained a close interrelationship with the special research field “Erinnerungskulturen” (Remembrance Cultures) (SFB 434). Students from several of our institutes contribute their expertise to the Media Education and Art and Media sections of the Zentrum für Medien und Interaktivität (ZMI) (Centre for Media and Interactivity). They also participate in the Zentrum für Lehrerbildung (ZfL) (Centre for Teacher Training) which accordingly combines cross-disciplinary research from the fields of pedagogy, political studies, psychology, and sociology.

The variety of degree courses in the Social Sciences and Cultural Studies faculty offers students plenty of choice when it comes to planning their academic future. One of the primary emphases of the faculty is teacher training – important not only for the local region but also for the state of Hesse as a whole. Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses have been established within the framework of the Bologna Process. The faculty conducts an internship exchange in order to assist students in finding their future professional orientation. In line with this service, the faculty maintains a number of contacts with a variety of business and media enterprises, political institutes, and facilities for primary and secondary teaching and adult education.

Faculty 04 – History and Cultural Studies

Discussions in the shade of the “Whinnying Stallion” on the “Phil I” campus

Faculty 04 covers a variety of subjects including Protestant Theology, Catholic Theology, Classical Archaeology, Classical Philology, Art History, Turkic Languages and Literatures, and Journalism and Public History (in conjunction with specialist journalism). This variety allows the department to offer students a broad range of subjects, which – geographically –covers all of Europe and the American continent. Chronologically, the department covers all phases of human development – from the beginnings of man to the present – and addresses cultural processes ranging from those of Classical Antiquity to varieties of Christianity. The evolution of human communication media (language, text, and image) throughout history is a further aspect that features prominently.

Faculty 05 – Language, Literature, Culture

The world of books
The spectrum of subjects covered by Faculty 05 (Language, Literature, and Culture) covers both modern languages and theatre studies. The English, German, Romance, and Slavonic Language departments cover English, German (also as a foreign language), French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Serbian, and Croatian, including their different social and regional variants.
The individual language departments feature broad-based linguistic, literature, and cultural-studies research and teaching. The Institute of Applied Theatre Studies rounds off the faculty’s profile.

Faculty 06 - Psychology and Sports Science

Unique in Germany: Psychologists at Giessen are provided with access to an MRI scanner on their own premises faculty

Two departments have grown together into one faculty, with much more in common than at first meets the eye. This is emphasized by a variety of cooperative ventures in research and teaching, shared participation in research groups, and intensive cooperation in areas such as multimedia applications.

Faculty 07 - Mathematics and Computer Science, Physics, Geography

"Outdoor Education" and experience of other cultures are crucial elements of studying geography

Excellent research at national and international level: Faculty 07 brings together Mathematics and Computer Science, Physics, and Geography and enjoys a high national and international reputation.

The strengths of the faculty are evident from the 2006 CHE (Centre for University Development) university rankings. Mathematics and Geography received top marks for students support, Physics for scientific publications. The faculty endeavours to make its research activities and fields of work known to a broader public.

It was owing to an initiative on the part of Faculty 07 that the world’s first museum of interactive mathematics, the “Mathematikum,” was established in 2002. The museum, which also mounts special exhibitions (often with a focus on human technological and artistic creativity), presents the faculty’s research findings to a broader public and is breaking new ground in the field of mathematics education and research.

The highly successful series of events “Physik im Blick” (“An Eye on Physics”) has been able to interest school children in current topics from all over the world of physics. In their Christmas lectures and special events, members of the Geography Department provide stimulating insights into their worldwide research activities.

Faculty 08 – Biology and Chemistry

Working with a scanning electron microscope
Giessen can, without a doubt, be described as one of the birthplaces of modern chemistry. In his almost three decades of teaching and research – from 1824 to 1852 – at Giessen University, the famous scientist Justus Liebig made several groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of organic and inorganic chemistry, agricultural chemistry, and physiology.

It was at Giessen University that Liebig wrote his famous treatise on “Agricultural Chemistry,” which was published in 1840 as “Organic Chemistry in its Application to Agriculture and Physiology.”
Today, over one and a half centuries after Liebig, Faculty 08 (Biology and Chemistry) with its 30 professorships represents a major proportion of all the natural sciences research and teaching at Justus Liebig University, and receives substantial outside research funding.
Several faculty work groups participate in a variety of special research areas and research groups. They also work in in the interdisciplinary project ”Funktionelle Genomforschung von Bakterium-Wirt-Interaktionen bei Sepsis” (“Functional Genome Research into Bacteria/Host Interaction During Sepsis”), which is conducted by the University Hospital.
The profile of biology at the University of Giessen features three national and international graduate schools. Close cooperation with work groups both nationally and internationally fosters close scientific research ties on all levels.
The performance and efficiency of the faculty are further underlined by prestigious awards to Giessen-based researchers within the framework of the Gerhard-Hess and BioFuture Programs. The worldwide success of the faculty’s alumni in teaching and research positions further underscores the high quality of the faculty.

Faculty 09 – Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences, and Environmental Management

Justus Liebig University's Research Centre for BioSystems, Land Use and Nutrition (IFZ)

How can we supply food and a balanced diet to the estimated 10 billion people on this planet in the year 2020 without destroying the environment and depleting the planet’s resources?

Securing the global supply of food and establishing a healthy diet are the focus of research and teaching within all the departments of Faculty 09. The principle of sustainability – environmental compatibility, efficiency, and social compatibility – must be upheld in all research endeavours, with due consideration of animal welfare and the interests of consumers. The scientific, technological, and economic implications of a whole raft of questions and problems, ranging from agricultural production to industrial food processing and waste disposal and recycling, must be dealt with.

The broad disciplinary base of Faculty 09, encompassing as it does matters scientific, social, and economic, serves to facilitate links with areas of mutual interest in a variety of other university faculties, creating plenty of opportunity for interdisciplinary projects.

Faculty 09 provides 17 of the 23 professorships within the “Interdisciplinary Research Centre for the Bio-Scientific Research of Environmental Protection” (IFZ). Scientists from within Faculty 09 have actively participated, and continue to participate, in several federally funded (DFG) research programs such as “Land Use Options for Peripheral Regions” (SFB 299) and “Mechanisms of Compatibility: Reprogramming of Plant Metabolism by Fungal Effector Molecules” (FOR 666).

One of Faculty 09’s work groups participates in the “Molecular Veterinary Medicine” graduate school. Half the board of the “Centre for international Development and Environmental Research” (ZEU) consists of representatives from within Faculty 09.

The Institute of Rural Cooperative Systems, four agricultural teaching and research facilities, and ten teaching and research stations are also closely tied to Faculty 09. The Information and Documentation Centre for Nutrition and the Agribusiness Institute are also closely linked to the faculty.

Faculty 10 – Veterinary Medicine

Intensive Care for a Foal

Justus Liebig University’s faculty of Veterinary Medicine is one of the oldest veterinary teaching institutions in Germany. The faculty of Veterinary Medicine, along with that of Agricultural Science, was among the first faculties to reopen after 1945. The faculty was therefore closely involved in the restructuring process of Justus Liebig University from the very beginning. The Veterinary Medicine faculty, along with other life sciences, today makes a marked contribution to the University’s prestige and international reputation. With its 1600 students (210 per year of study), Faculty 10 clearly belongs among the largest faculties in the university.

Veterinary Teaching since 1777

The “Vieharzneykunst” (Art of Animal Healing) was added to the university’s disciplines in the year 1777 – in front of the backdrop of devastating epizootic diseases and mismanagement in animal husbandry.
In 1832, August Pfannstiehl was the first veterinary doctor to receive the “Doctor in arte veterinaria” degree at Giessen University. In 1914, Veterinary Medicine was given its own faculty and moved into a newly constructed building complex. Its Art-Nouveau buildings, now a heritage site, add essential character to the faculty’s campus.
Following the Second World War, the rebuilding of the faculty was funded with money from the Marshall Plan. However, in order to ensure that research remains cutting-edge, several new buildings with state-of-the-art facilities have since been constructed (Biomedical Research Centre) and several new ones are planned (Small Animal and Horse Clinic).

Faculty 11 – Medicine

JLU's Medical Campus

The Faculty of Medicine was among the four foundational faculties of the Academia Ludoviciana. It has maintained its own faculty seal since 1607. The seal shows the serpent of Aesculapius. True to the understanding of the time, the Aesculapian serpent is depicted as a fabulous animal: a winged dragon with bird’s head and lizard’s tail.
The Aesculapian serpent embodies the virtues of attention and concentration. The Greek motto of the faculty, “NAEPHE” (lit. ‘Be Critical!’), also features on the seal. It acts as lasting reminder to doctors always to be conscientious and never to forget their medical principles. The seal may thus also suggest just how close the ties are at the university between tradition and modernity.



Website:: http://www.uni-giessen.de
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