The University of Regensburg (German: Universität Regensburg) is a public research university located in the medieval city of Regensburg, Bavaria, a city that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The university was founded on July 18, 1962 by the Landtag of Bavaria as the fourth full-fledged university in Bavaria. Following groundbreaking in 1965, the university officially opened to students during the 1967–1968 winter semester, initially housing faculties in Law and Business Sciences and Philosophy. During the summer semester of 1968 the faculty of Theology was created. Currently, the University of Regensburg houses eleven faculties.
The university actively participates in the European Union's SOCRATES programme as well as several TEMPUS programmes. Its most famous academic, the previous Pope Benedict XVI, served as a professor there until 1977 and formally retains his chair in theology.
Key fields of activity include the Natural Sciences (Mathematics, Physics, Bio-Sciences, Chemistry and Pharmacy), the Humanities (History, Philologies) and Medicine. The German Research Association (DFG) currently sponsors two collaborative research centres (the SFB 1085 "Higher Invariants -interactions between Arithmetic Geometry and Global Analysis" of the Faculty of Mathematics and the CRC/Transregio 55 "Hadron Physics from Lattice QCD" of the Faculty of Physics), four research units and five interdisciplinary graduate colleges. The university participates in well over 30 EU projects.
In detail: according to a recent documentation of the DFG, the physics faculty of the university in 2009 held the first place in Bavaria, and the third one in Germany, concerning the financial support. Moreover, the high-energy physicists of the faculty form the center of a large international cooperation on a basic theory in the field, the Quantum Chromodynamics, with a large special computer, called QPACE.
Due to its geographical location near the former Iron Curtain border of the Czech Republic, the university considers itself a bridge. between East and West. Working with partners in Europaeum, the University of Regensburg has set up an interdisciplinary centre for research and teaching on all aspects pertaining to Central, Eastern and Southeastern European countries. As part of the focus on Eastern Europe the University of Regensburg offers degrees like Suutheastern-European Studies and Eastern European studies. The university is also home for the Bavarian University Centre for Central, East and Southeastern Europe (BAYHOST) which works on deepening cooperation between universities of the region and the state of Bavaria. The university closely cooperates with other institutions focusing on Eastern Europe in the city like the Institute for Eastern and Southeastern European studies, the Ostrecht institute (institute for Easteuropean legal studies) and the Hungarian institute among others. These institutions are all part of the centre for competence on Eastern Europe Regensburg.
The University of Regensburg is ranked among the best 400 universities worldwide:
- QS World University Ranking 2014: 395th
- Academic Ranking of World Universities 2013: 301-400th
- Center for World University Rankings 2014: 338th
The Handelsblatt Ranking 2014, one of the most relevant rankings for business administration in Germany, ranked the university's Department of Business Administration among the best 25 in German-speaking Europe.