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Founded in 1743, FAU has a rich history. It is a strong research university with an international perspective and one of the largest universities in Germany, with 40,174 students, 256-degree programmes, 4,000 academic staff (including over 647 professors), 180 million euros (2015) third-party funding, and 500 partnerships with universities all over the world. Teaching at the University is closely linked to research and focuses on training students in both theory and practice to enable them to think critically and work independently. The research itself also strikes the perfect balance between a theoretical approach and practical application.
FAU’s outstanding research and teaching are reflected in top positions in both national and international rankings, as well as the high amount of DFG funding which its researchers are able to secure.
High-profile, cutting-edge research
Supporting cutting-edge research, strengthening German universities and research facilities and improving Germany’s international competitive position – these are the goals of the Excellence Initiative by the German Federal and State Governments to Promote Science and Research at German Universities. The University of Erlangen-Nürnberg has participated very successfully in the Excellence Initiative, being chosen as the location for both the Erlangen Graduate School in Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT) and the Cluster of Excellence ‘Engineering of Advanced Materials’ (EAM). The SAOT receives 1.9 million euros of annual funding, while the Cluster of Excellence EAM has been awarded a total of 40 million euros in funding.
Engineering of Advanced Materials
New materials and processes play a crucial role in ensuring the competitiveness of the industry, enabling economic growth, improving our quality of life and preserving a habitable environment. EAM develops hierarchically organised materials with custom electrical, optical, catalytic and mechanical properties. Innovative applications in the area of nanoelectronics, photonics, catalysis and lightweight construction are being developed in seven Research Areas as part of new collaborative research involving the University, external research institutions and industry. EAM envisions closing the gap between the fundamental research and application of modern functional materials. EAM is part of the University’s strategy to become a global leader in material sciences.
Erlangen Graduate School of Advanced Optical Technologies
Optics are one of the most important technologies of the new century. From global positioning systems and the internet or lasers and fibre optics to eye surgery and lithography for chip production – in almost all areas of life, modern society benefits greatly from the rapid progress made in this area. In the new Graduate School, young researchers are working closely together at the intersections of materials sciences, metrology, medicine and processing technology and learning how to harness the potential of new optical technologies.
Continuously improving together
Ensuring and developing the quality of teaching and studying is a key goal at FAU. In this context, the University is using the broad range of subjects that it offers as a strategic strength. A decentralised approach is taken to quality management, allowing all those involved to work as independently as possible and ensuring that the unique characteristics of individual subjects are taken into account. All quality assurance processes in teaching and studying are co-ordinated through centralised measures.
FAU's mission statement
Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) was founded on November 4th, 1743. While retaining a strong sense of tradition, the University has developed into a leading institution offering one of the broadest spectrums of courses available at any German university. Our goals at FAU are to specialise in areas of research that will shape the future and to create a network of interdisciplinary co-operation between technical, scientific and traditional subjects.
FAU is one of the leading research-focused universities in Germany. We work actively to build on this position and strive to guarantee freedom in research as a prerequisite for scientific advancement. FAU is committed to the unity of research and education. The research we undertake is oriented towards both theory and its practical applications. At FAU we are constantly developing new areas of expertise of particular significance for the future of science and society. Established scientific and ethical standards guide our research: methods are transparent and newly gained knowledge is discussed and debated in open exchanges with the academic community and the wider public.
FAU recognises its social responsibility and continually strives to optimise teaching and learning at the University. A key focus is placed on providing our students with an education based on knowledge and the methods required to apply this knowledge. We educate our students to be critical, independent individuals. FAU advocates the principle of lifelong learning. Our goal is to enable people to update, enrich and extend their knowledge at any stage in life through a structured and expanding range of professional development courses.
One aim of particular importance to us at FAU is to provide researchers in the early stages of their academic careers with the highest level of support and skills. This means, above all, giving young researchers the opportunity to take on responsibility and to conduct research independently. Professors at FAU serve as sources of support and role models in setting standards.
Scientific progress and interdisciplinary research are rooted in the subject-specific expertise of the highest quality. FAU specifically promotes exchange between the disciplines, thus maximising the potential for innovative scientific progress and the creation of new study constellations.
FAU has an outward-looking, international perspective and is committed to promoting mutual understanding between nationalities and cultures. We support knowledge transfer and mobility, as well as a personal exchange in research and teaching. Students, teachers and researchers from across the globe have the opportunity to contribute to and be an active part of university life.
The strength of the local connections established by FAU can be seen in the diverse range of co-operations with businesses and research institutes, as well as with educational and cultural institutions throughout the region. FAU constitutes a seedbed for successful business start-ups and enriches cultural diversity.
The achievement of equal opportunities for all employees, male and female, is of the utmost importance to us at FAU. Nobody is discriminated against or disadvantaged on the basis of gender, nationality, religious beliefs, social background or disability. FAU strives to offer a balance between study, work and family.
FAU maintains a thriving alumni network of former students and professors, as well as friends and supporters: international, intergenerational and interdisciplinary.
FAU benefits from a modern university management structure. Organisational, management and decision-making structures and processes in research, teaching and administration are constantly adapted to meet the demands of modern and successful knowledge management: management in the service of science.
This school offers programs in: