Academic Ranking of World Universities

Heidelberg University
English Name: Heidelberg University
Region: Western Europe
Country: Germany
Found Year: 1386
Address: Grabengasse 1

Heidelberg University – A Tradition for the Future


Established in 1386, Heidelberg University – also known as Ruperto Carola – is Germany’s oldest university and one of Europe’s most research-intensive institutions. Its successes in the Excellence Initiative and its internationally recognised rankings substantiate the leading role and excellent reputation of Heidelberg University in the academic, scientific and research landscape. In educating students and advancing outstanding young researchers, Ruperto Carola emphasises research-based teaching and structured doctoral training programmes in its graduate schools.


Heidelberg University sees itself as a comprehensive research university, and its broad subject spectrum includes the humanities, the social sciences, law, the natural and life sciences, and medicine. The four interdisciplinary Fields of Focus form the core of Heidelberg’s research strategy: the molecular and cellular basis of life, structure and pattern formation in the material world, cultural dynamics in globalised worlds, and self-regulation and regulation: individuals and organisations.


With more than 160 degree programmes in twelve faculties, Heidelberg offers a preeminent array of subject combinations. The university actively participates in a worldwide network of teaching and research collaborations. International graduate academies, 23 institutional partnerships at the overall university level, and exchange arrangements with over 450 universities throughout the world underscore the strength of Ruperto Carola’s international ties. One in five research associates comes from outside Germany, and the percentage of international fellows in the graduate academies often exceeds 50 percent.


The university is especially committed to advancing exceptional individual disciplines, promoting dialogue beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, and turning research findings to good use for society and the economy. In this endeavour it relies on strong partners outside the university. Examples include the alliances in the life sciences with the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg or the HEiKA alliance with the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology with its strong focus on the natural and engineering sciences. Pursuant to the Industry-on-Campus (IoC) concept, Ruperto Carola enters into longer-term cooperative partnerships with industry in strategically oriented basic research in order to improve knowledge transfer into application-oriented research. One such IoC organisation that enjoys international visibility is the Catalysis Research Laboratory, or CaRLa, in which university post-docs work together with BASF.


Adding to the lustre of Heidelberg’s international reputation as a quality research institution are its Nobel laureates. 56 Nobel prize winners are connected with Heidelberg, eleven of whom were or still are professors at the university. The most recent recipients were Stefan W. Hell in chemistry in 2014 and Harald zur Hausen in physiology or medicine in 2008.

Heidelberg’s cosmopolitan and student-friendly atmosphere is one of the city’s distinguishing characteristics. Heidelberg is a lively centre of the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region and is marked by its high density of research-intensive industry and conglomeration of scientific research institutions. These institutions, working alongside the university, form an internationally competitive research network, providing a wide assortment of contact and cooperation possibilities for Heidelberg University researchers and students.


In its efforts to combine European university values such as autonomy, freedom of research and teaching, non-discriminatory access and meritocratic advancement structures with forward-looking academic concepts in research and teaching, Heidelberg University is architecting a bridge to the future – The Future. Since 1386.

Performance in Academic Ranking of World Universities
ARWU 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Performance in Academic Ranking of World Universities by Broad Subject Fields
Broad Subject Fields 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Performance in Academic Ranking of World Universities by Subject Fields
Subject Fields 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
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