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Performance Profile

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The University of Freiburg: Strong in Research, Teaching, and Transfer

The University of Freiburg, founded in 1457, combines tradition with a culture of continuous renewal. It ranks among Germany’s leading universities, with regard to research as well as to teaching and transfer. The activities in each of these three performance dimensions provide inspiration for activities in the others that impact the entire university. The University of Freiburg’s performance profile reflects its success in these dimensions and defines the fields of activity on which the university will continue to focus in the future.


Top-Notch Research

The University of Freiburg belongs to the national top flight on account of its research strength:


Early-Career Researchers

The University of Freiburg offers ideal conditions for early-career researchers. It holds top positions with regard to all important funding programs in this area:


Innovative Teaching

The University of Freiburg is developing novel teaching concepts and laying the foundations for excellent teacher education:


Top Positions on Rankings

The University of Freiburg’s performance in research and teaching is reflected regularly in its positions on several national and international university rankings. As one of the five best comprehensive universities and one of the ten best universities in Germany, the University of Freiburg is a member of the League of European Research Universities, LERU for short, and of the German U15 network.


Reuters Top 100: Europe’s Most Innovative Universities

In the Thomson-Reuters Innovation Ranking 2018, the University of Freiburg maintained its position: Among the 100 most innovative universities in Europe, Freiburg ranks 24th, as in the previous year. In a national comparison, the university ranks 7th among the top ten. Freiburg’s trinational partners in the Eucor - The European Campus network have also maintained their position: Basel ranks 15th, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) 31st and Strasbourg 41st among the 100 most innovative universities.

World Universities Ranking des THE (Times Higher Education)

In the current World Universities Ranking of THE (Times Higher Education), the University of Freiburg ranks 76th worldwide and 5th nationally. The THE ranking is based on an education supplement of the British daily newspaper The Times and has been carried out worldwide since 2004. The ranking is based on 13 criteria.

Press release: Consistently in the top group: University of Freiburg has improved its nationwide position in the Times Higher Education Ranking to number 5

QS World University Ranking

The QS World University Ranking currently lists the University of Freiburg as the ninth best German university (fifth best comprehensive university, ranked 169th internationally). The British agency Quacquarelli Symonds conducted the THE ranking from 2004 to 2010 and has published its own ranking since 2010. It now includes more than 1,000 universities worldwide.

Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) of the Jiaotong University Shanghai/China ranks the University of Freiburg internationally among the places 101 to 150, nationally between the ranks 5 and 7. The ranking does not allow a more precise breakdown. Since 2003, Jiaotong University has compiled a ranking list of 500 universities in which the universities are compared on the basis of six indicators. The ranking focuses on research.


The CHE University Ranking is the most comprehensive and detailed ranking of German universities and universities of applied sciences. It covers 39 subjects and thus addresses more than three-quarters of all first-year students. The CHE ranking focuses on aspects of teaching and academic feasibility. The University of Freiburg allows its subjects and faculties to participate in this ranking. All results are available free of charge on the Internet.


The current funding atlas of the German Research Foundation (DFG) [de] lists the University of Freiburg as the seventh strongest German university when it comes to obtaining third-party funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG). Adjusted by subjects and size, the University of Freiburg even ranks first among all German universities. In 2017, the DFG had a funding budget of almost 3.2 billion euros. It is the largest sponsor of university research and is under academic self-administration. DFG funding successes are regarded as an expression of scientific excellence due to the predominantly science-driven and competitively organized approval procedures. Since DFG awards are regularly linked to a positive scientific review, they are considered to be proof of particular competitiveness. In the 2017 financial year, the DFG’s share of the University of Freiburg (including the hospital) amounted to more than 45 percent of total third-party funding.


More statistics and performance data on the University of Freiburg are presented in the 2017/2018 Annual Report.