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Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Latin: Universitas Litterarum Jenensis
Established 1558
Type Public university
Rector Prof. Klaus Dicke
Admin. staff 2,161 non-medical, 4,136 medical
Students 21,195
Location Jena, Germany
Affiliations Coimbra Group

Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) (German: Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, colloquially Uni Jena), is a public research university located in Jena, Thuringia, Germany.

The university was established in 1558 and is counted among the ten oldest universities in Germany. It is affiliated with 6 Nobel Prize winners, most recently in 2000 when Jena graduate Herbert Kroemer won the Nobel Prize for physics. It was renamed after the writer Friedrich Schiller who was teaching as professor of history when Jena attracted some of the most influential minds at the turn of the 19th century. With Karl Leonhard Reinhold, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, G. W. F. Hegel, F. W. J. Schelling and Friedrich von Schlegel on its teaching staff, the university has been at the centre of the emergence of German idealism and early Romanticism.

As of 2009, the university has around 21,000 students enrolled and 340 professors. Its current rector, Klaus Dicke, is the 317th rector in the history of the university.


The university is organised into the following ten faculties:


The elector John Frederick, Elector of Saxony first thought of a plan to establish a university at Jena in 1547 while he was being held captive by emperor Charles V. The plan was put into motion by his three sons and, after having obtained a charter from the emperor Ferdinand I, the university was established on 2 February 1558.

Prior to the 20th century, University enrolment peaked in the 18th century. The university's reputation peaked under the auspices of Duke Charles Augustus, Goethe's patron (1787–1806), when Gottlieb Fichte, G. W. F. Hegel, Friedrich Schelling, Friedrich von Schlegel and Friedrich Schiller were on its teaching staff.

Founded as a home for the new religious opinions of the sixteenth century, it has since been one of the most politically radical universities in Germany. Jena was noted among other German universities at the time for allowing students to duel and to have a passion for Freiheit, which were popularly regarded as the necessary characteristics of German student life. The University of Jena has preserved a historical detention room or Karzer with famous caricatures by Swiss painter Martin Disteli.

In the latter 19th century, the department of zoology taught evolutionary theory, with Carl Gegenbaur, Ernst Haeckel and others publishing detailed theories at the time of Darwin's "Origin of Species" (1858). The later fame of Ernst Haeckel eclipsed Darwin in some European countries, as the term "Haeckelism" was more common than Darwinism.

In 1905, Jena had 1,100 students enrolled and its teaching staff (including privatdozenten) numbered 112. Amongst its numerous auxiliaries then were the library, with 200,000 volumes; the observatory; the meteorological institute; the botanical garden; the seminaries of theology, philology, and education; and the well-equipped clinical, anatomical, and physical institutes.

During the 20th century, the cooperation between Zeiss corporation and the university brought new prosperity and attention to Jena, resulting in a dramatic increase in funding and enrolment.

Nazi period

Karl Astel was the Rector 1939-1945.


Research at Friedrich Schiller University traditionally focusses on both humanities and sciences. In addition to the faculties the following "Collaborative Research Centres" (German "Sonderforschungsbereich", short: "SFB") operate at the university:

  • SFB 630 „Erkennung, Gewinnung und funktionale Analyse von Wirkstoffen gegen Infektionskrankheiten“
  • SFB/TR 18 „Relativistische Laser-Plasma-Dynamik“
  • SFB 604 „Multifunktionelle Signalproteine“
  • SFB 580 „Gesellschaftliche Entwicklung nach dem Systemumbruch. Diskontinuität, Tradition und Strukturenbildung“
  • SFB 482 „Ereignis Weimar-Jena. Kultur um 1800“
  • SFB 436 „Metallvermittelte Reaktionen nach dem Vorbild der Natur“

In 2006 the research center „Jena Center - History of the 20th century“ was founded. In 2007 the graduate school 214 „Jena School for Microbial Communication“ was established within the German Universities Excellence Initiative. In 2008 the "Center for Molecular Biomedicine" (CMB) and the interdisciplinary research center "Laboratory of the Enlightenment" were developed as the university's youngest research institutions.

Friedrich Schiller University is the only German University with a chair for gravitational theory.

Notable alumni

Museums and collections at the University

See also

  • List of early modern universities in Europe



  • Mayhew, Henry (1864): German Life and Manners as Seen in Saxony at the Present Day: With an Account of Village Life - Town Life - Fashionable Life - Domestic Life - Married Life - School and University Life, &c., of Germany at the Present Time: Illustrated with Songs and Pictures of the Student Customs at the University of Jena. In Two Volumes. London [Vol. II, Section VII, Chapter VI-XI: Student Life at Jena].

External links

  • University of Jena
  • University of Jena, statistics
  • European universities)

Coordinates: 50°55′42″N 11°34′56″E / 50.92833°N 11.58222°E / 50.92833; 11.58222

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