Ruperto Carola Attracts International Top Scientists
As an Excellence university and the oldest German institution of higher education, Heidelberg University stands for both innovation and tradition, a combination that has proved highly attractive to international scientists. Although the university is not among the largest in Germany, it is the most popular among foreign PhD students and is generally regarded as the place to go for researchers from abroad.
In the "Wissenschaft weltoffen 2011" study conducted by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD and Hochschul-Informations-System GmbH (HIS), Heidelberg University ranks first among the 50 most important German universities for enrolled foreign PhD students. Approximately one-third of the PhD students enrolled at Heidelberg University are foreign nationals. In the winter semester 2011/2012, most foreign PhD students came from China, India, Italy and Greece, and hence from two of the three countries of focus (India and Italy) of the Research-Alumni Network.
In addition to its excellent international reputation, Heidelberg University attracts outstanding young researchers with its wide range of structured PhD programmes – some of them in English – and its research training groups. To add to that are four international Max Planck Research Schools. The Graduate Academy of Heidelberg University develops interdisciplinary advisory, training and support programmes for doctoral students and postdocs.
The university is also very popular among the fellows and award winners of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation: In the foundation's ranking of foreign researchers at German universities, published in April 2012, Heidelberg University ranks 6th behind such large institutions as the universities of Berlin and Munich. The ranking evaluated the number of temporary stays of international top and junior scientists over the past five years whose research in Germany was supported by a scholarship or award of the foundation. The stays were correlated with the number of professorships at the respective university in order to avoid statistical bias due to the different sizes of the host institutions.