Prof. Dr. Gerhard Fouquet: Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel – Innovatives Umfeld und exzellente Forschung

Being a state university, the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU) holds a special position: on the one hand, it offers a broad spectrum of subjects allowing school graduates to study within the state and thus encourages quali­­fied academic youngsters towards the at­­trac­­tive location of Schleswig-Holstein. On the other hand, the CAU takes on the demands of the national and international competition between universities through its clear scientific pro­­file and specializations. Adding to this are also the Bachelor and Master’s de­­grees that comply to the standards of a well-organized European higher edu­­cation region of comparable study structure and certifications.


Excavation in Okolište (Poland): an excavation team at work.

The CAU attaches great importance on independent research and close contact to regional and national networks for its doc­­toral candidates. A graduate’s centre (cur­­rent­­ly in development) supports the young scientists with a variety of opportunities.

The Career Center builds on the compe­tencies learned during the study cours­es and prepares the graduates for their work­­ing lives. The organization of family, career and scientific education should in future be eased through the option of part-time study.
Efficiency through interdisciplinarity
To combine the diverse fields of sub­­jects is one of the highest priorities at the University of Kiel, where scientific ques­­tions are seldom constrained with­­in dis­­­­ciplinary boundaries. It is above all through interdisciplinary co-­op­­eration that new solutions can be found which raise the efficiency of economic processes and for society symbolize innovation. A concrete research profile con­­tributes to­­­wards following problem-oriented ap­­proach­­es and thus facilitates a tech­­nology and knowledge transfer. This fre­­quent­­ly leads to the registration of pat­­ents, for example in the intertwined main re­­search topies “Ma­­rine and Geosciences” and “Applied Life Sciences”. Both complexes have achieved an interdisciplinary Clus­­­ter of Ex­­cel­lence.



In the area of “Nanotechnology and Surface Science”, technical processes are re­­al­­ized on a molecular level on grounds of models taken from nature. Within in­­di­vid­­ual collaborative research centres, such as “Func­­tion by Switching” or “Funda­men­tals of Complex Plas­mas”, the topic ori­­en­tates itself closely around the needs of free science and carries out basic re­­­­search. A similarly promising potential can be found at the graduate school “Human De­­velop­­ment in Land­­scapes” and the main topic “Cultural Spaces”. Here, doc­­toral candidates from the sub­­ject cours­­es of archaeology, the geosciences, history, medicine, classical philology and biology jointly research for spaces as a par­­ticular element of human development.

Novel questions create workplaces
The establishment of specialized workgroups require a well-educated infrastructure. From office workers to scientific assistants to newly-formed professorships – every university development secures and creates work­­spaces of varying qualifications. The Clus­­ters of Excellence “In­­flam­­mation at Inter­­faces” and “The Future Ocean” alone di­­rectly created 187 workspaces that nat­­urally also bring more with them.

CAU research has gained around 75.6 million euros until today.

Start-up and spin-off companies with university support
The ongoing anchoring of the trend of company independence requires com­pe­­tent advice and motivation. For these pur­­poses, a network of the universities of Schleswig-Holstein brought the L@INC project to life.



With consideration of the competence areas of the individual universities and un­­der leadership of the CAU, spin-offs from sci­­entific institutes and company foundations are specifically supported. In the fu­­ture independent entrepreneurs arm them­­selves with training courses for the start of their career, while valuable net­­­works are already established during the founding phase.


pfouq02yThe author is the president of the CAU in Kiel. He received his doctorate at the University of Siegen in 1985 and habili­tated in Siegen in 1994. He received a appointment with his C4 profes­­sorship for Economic and So­­cial History in Kiel in 1996. Fouquet was dean of the philo­­sophical faculty from 2000 to 2002. He was elected deputy rector in 2005 and president in December 2007.