Mission Statement & Principles

Founded in 1386, Heidelberg University, a state university of Baden-Württemberg, is Germany’s oldest university. In continuing its time-honoured tradition as a research university of international standing, Heidelberg University’s mission is guided by the following principles:

Firmly rooted in its history, the University is committed to expanding and disseminating our knowledge about all aspects of humanity and nature through research and education. The University upholds the principle of freedom of research and education, acknowledging its responsibility to humanity, society, and nature.

According to its motto »Semper apertus« (»Always open«) Heidelberg University, in a spirit of open-mindedness and tolerance toward individuals and ideas, aspires to generate and harness knowledge and skills for the benefit of today’s and future generations.

Heidelberg University’s identity as a comprehensive university has grown out of its academic history, its commitment to the present, and its role in shaping the future. The research and educational efforts of the university are devoted to pursuing the central questions confronting humanity, concentrating on fundamental research and its application, and empowering Heidelberg’s students to participate in this scientific and academic endeavour at an early stage.

The disciplines taught at Heidelberg University encompass the humanities, the social sciences, law, natural sciences, engineering sciences, and the life sciences, including medicine.

The tasks of a comprehensive university are

  • to advance outstanding individual disciplines, cross-linking them and addressing issues at the highest scholarly level;
  • to create and safeguard the conditions for comprehensive, interdisciplinary collaboration that will make possible essential contributions toward the solution of major issues facing humanity, society, and government in an increasingly changing world;
  • to make research results available to society and encourage their utilisation in all sectors of public life.

Students, researchers, teachers, technical staff, and administrative personnel form an integral part of the university. Heidelberg University is a self-governing institution committed to the principles of good academic practice.

Heidelberg University connects the knowledge and expertise of its members across generations. It is dedicated to systematically advancing the careers of young scholars and scientists, offers established academics ample opportunity for independent research, and assures the continued presence of outstanding emeriti by conferring on them the rank of senior professors. This alliance of knowledge provides an excellent foundation for the identification and dedicated pursuit of new research questions. The University is thus ideally positioned to meet future challenges with an appropriate degree of flexibility.

The intricate connection between research and teaching provides for an education that is academic, practical, and continuous.

Heidelberg University is committed to providing equal opportunity for men and women, to ensuring the compatibility of professional work and family, and to upholding the principle of diversity and equality both within and outside the bounds of the University.

Heidelberg University will strengthen and extend its cooperation with non-university research institutions.

Heidelberg University intends to further cultivate its contacts with former students and graduates, friends and supporters, as well as its partners in business and industry to attract additional encouragement and support.

Heidelberg University’s international orientation is a long-standing tradition. Occupying a leading position in Germany and in Europe, the University is committed to providing its global competitiveness. It will continue to increase its attractiveness for outstanding international scholars and students and to expand its international networks in order to provide both junior researchers and senior faculty with the best possible opportunities for further qualification and advancement.