University of Kassel

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University of Kassel
founding 1971
Sponsorship state
place Coat of arms of Kassel, svg kassel
state HesseHesse Hesse
country GermanyGermany Germany
president Reiner Finkeldey
Students 25.103 (WS 2019/20)
Employee 3,337 (WS 2018/19, without Studentenwerk)
including professors 335 (WS 2019/20)
Annual budget € 291.49 million (winter semester 2018/19, without Studentenwerk)
Networks Network of medium-sized universities
Entrance to the central campus Holländischer Platz

The University of Kassel is the northernmost university in Hesse . It was founded in 1971 as the comprehensive university in Kassel (GhK). Since 2003 the university has been called the University of Kassel.

Research at the university is traditionally diverse and interdisciplinary. B. since 1978 via the Scientific Centers, which are organized independently of the departments . The research profile includes focal points u. a. in environmental, climate and energy research, information technology design , nanostructural sciences and educational research.

In addition to the central campus at Holländischer Platz, the University of Kassel also has other locations in Heinrich-Plett-Strasse, Menzelstrasse, Wilhelmshöher Allee and Damaschkestrasse in Kassel and two locations in the city of Witzenhausen .

History of the university

Original logo of the Kassel University from 1971 to 2000

As early as 1633, Kassel was allowed to call itself a university city for the next twenty years because of the old University of Kassel , before the Hessian state university was relocated from Renthof to the regained Marburg . Landgrave Friedrich II founded today's art college in 1777 as the Akademie der Künste, which after the Second World War was initially a craft art school and later a college of fine arts (HbK), until today it operates under the name of the Kunsthochschule Kassel .

The Higher Trade School ( Polytechnikum ) founded in 1832 , at which u. a. the chemists Heinrich Buff , Friedrich Wöhler and Robert Wilhelm Bunsen taught and researched, and the building trade school Kassel (later state building school Kassel, from 1963 state engineering school) can be seen as the forerunners of Kassel University. As early as 1866 there were plans to expand the polytechnic into a technical college or university; Due to a lack of money, the project in Kassel could not be realized (instead, the Technical University of Aachen was founded in 1870 ).

The first calls for the establishment of a university in Kassel were made in 1958. A citizens' initiative was later set up to achieve this goal. In 1970 the Hessian state parliament decided to establish an integrated comprehensive university . The Kassel comprehensive university concept included the integration of various previous university forms, here it was the University of Fine Arts , the ´ Pedagogical Institute , the Engineering School and the Higher Business School , in a single university. Ludwig von Friedeburg , the Hessian minister of education, is considered to be the founder of the Kassel comprehensive university (GhK). It was inspired by Stephan Freiger , then a lecturer at the Pedagogical Institute in Kassel. Teaching began on October 25, 1971. Vera Rüdiger became the founding president a year later . The practice-oriented and experimental focus in the graded diploma courses , which has been developed as the Kassel model since 1973 , is based on the amalgamation of the various sub-areas of art, technology, social and environmental disciplines. This was practiced as a reform approach until the late 1990s.

The first graded diploma course based on the new Kassel model began in 1974. A year later, Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker became the new president of the GhK. The economics course was set up in the 1978 winter semester in what was then the "organizational unit for economics", today Faculty 7 (economics). The first newly formed department at "Holländischer Platz" ( Hopla ) was the interdisciplinary degree in Architecture, Urban Planning, Landscape Planning (ASL) for its founding generation and the like. a. Lucius Burckhardt , Michael Wilkens and Karl-Heinrich Hülbusch count.

At the university's 20th anniversary in 1991, more than 000000000016000.000000000016,000 students were enrolled. Two years later, the university convention decided to change the name to “University of Kassel”. Since this year the university has continued to be a member of the German Research Foundation . With the help of external sponsors, two new interdisciplinary courses were set up for the 2001 winter semester: Computer Science and Industrial Engineering. The university celebrated its first university day on February 15, 2002 - thirty years after the university was founded. With a senate decision in 2003 the part of the name “comprehensive university” was dropped, since then the university has been called “University of Kassel”. A year later, new bachelor and master courses were set up and in the same winter semester further diploma courses such as mechatronics and nanostructural sciences were added to the offer of the university. With the modularization under the framework conditions of the Bologna Process , the preparation of the credit point system and central, automated course performance recording began.

Holländischer Platz campus

Western forecourt of the Campus Center
Forecourt of the central canteen on the Ahna

Another characteristic of the re-establishment of the university in the 1970s was the conversion of the industrial site of the Henschel locomotive factory , which was founded in 1810 to the north- east of the city center in the district of North Holland and which had already been wound up in the 1960s when it was incorporated into the ThyssenKrupp company . Contrary to multiple efforts to preserve the old buildings on the site and to use them as an alternative ( conversion and transformation) as a university, today's campus Holländischer Platz was rebuilt in a lengthy process . In the 1980s and 1990s, the campus was largely built according to plans by the Stuttgart engineering office Höfler and Kandel.

When creating this campus, at least the needs of wheelchair users and the mobility impaired were taken into account through lifts and disabled toilets in many buildings. Other forms of disability received less attention in the planning.

Since 2011, the Holländischer Platz campus has been expanded in a northerly direction between Gottschalkstrasse, Moritzstrasse and Mombachstrasse on the basis of the building structure concept decided in 2005. In addition to creating additional student capacities, the aim is to relocate the departments and facilities there from Heinrich-Plett-Strasse in Kassel-Oberzwehren. In 2002, the land of the former tent factory had Gottschalk & Co. acquired. Since 2008 the buildings on the site of the former companies Henschel (K18 / K19), Gottschalk & Co. and Kohlen Koch have been demolished. The results of the two-stage urban planning competition primarily envisage new buildings as essential components on the 8.5 hectare site, the existing buildings were only partially taken into account in the master plan.

In a first step, a lecture hall and campus center, new buildings for the department of architecture, urban planning, landscape planning , a SciencePark for start-ups and university-related companies, a dormitory of the student union and a kindergarten were built. In addition, the central canteen was expanded by 400 seats and older buildings were renovated. The state of Hesse is providing 226 million euros from the HEUREKA program for the construction program . Further funds are in prospect. Buildings for the natural sciences have not yet been implemented.

Campus Oberzwehren

The University of Kassel (at that time still Kassel University of Applied Sciences) began teaching in the 1971/72 winter semester, mostly in buildings that had previously been built in the Oberzwehren district in just seven months . In the so-called construction and disposal center (AVZ), the newly established teacher training courses were initially accommodated. The AVZ was gradually expanded until 1978. As the name suggests, the AVZ was planned as a temporary measure. Nevertheless, it is still in operation today and mainly houses the mathematics and natural sciences department. In the course of the Hessian university building program HEUREKA, however, it has been agreed to give up the location in the coming years and relocate the subject areas to the Holländischer Platz campus.

Campus Wilhelmshöher Allee

The newly founded comprehensive university took over the buildings of the former state building school and the engineering school on Wilhelmshöher Allee in the Wehlheiden district. Both institutions merged into the new university. The two connected buildings date from the 1950s, and the ensemble has been expanded repeatedly since then. It contains attractive sgraffiti from the 1950s and a sculpture by Alberto Viani in the foyer , which was shown at Documenta II (1959). Today the electrical engineering / IT department is housed here.

Menzelstrasse campus

In the Kassel Südstadt, on the edge of the baroque Karlsaue, stands the Kassel Art College , which is a semi-autonomous area of ​​the university. It has its roots in the Academie de Peinture et de Sculpture, founded in 1777 by Landgrave Friedrich II , and thus refers to the history of the city as a landgrave and electoral residence. The art college resides in two remarkable 1960s buildings. The northern part (architect Paul Friedrich Posenenske) was built for the State University of Fine Arts, where documenta founder Arnold Bode worked as a professor. This is followed by the construction of the Werkkunstschule by Johannes Krahn and Josef Lucas. In 1970 the two institutions were merged and then merged into today's university.

Department of Organic Agricultural Sciences in Witzenhausen

Campus Witzenhausen Steinstrasse of the University of Kassel

In the small town of Witzenhausen, about 40 kilometers away, there is Faculty 11 Organic Agricultural Sciences at the University of Kassel. There he uses a location in the north of the city as well as a former Wilhelmite monastery in the center , in which the German Colonial School (Tropical School) was founded in 1898 to train people to move to the German colonies in agriculture . The university's tropical greenhouse is also located on the grounds of the monastery on Steinstrasse and houses rare tropical plants (including the Oman banana).

Studies and teaching, research, knowledge transfer

In the LEO learning center ("learning location") students can find space for group work and self-study

Study and teaching

The University of Kassel offers over a hundred different courses in eleven departments. First-year students find introductory and support courses, such as mathematics for economists. Teaching at the University of Kassel is traditionally characterized by a comparatively high level of practical relevance. For example, student teachers already get to know everyday teaching life in their basic studies, while school internships at other universities are often only pending towards the end of their studies. In some other courses of study, special emphasis is placed on learning in projects that strive for greater independence for students in their studies, a unity of teaching and learning, and practical relevance in a comprehensive sense.

The Teaching Service Center is a special feature, a central facility that supports students and, if necessary, provides them with skills, for example in academic writing. At the same time, it trains lecturers pedagogically, which contributes to improving the quality of teaching and to innovative teaching formats. Thanks to the support of the Teaching Service Center, the University of Kassel is regularly successful in the nationwide Hessian University Prize for Excellence in Teaching. A total of 15 teaching prizes have been awarded to Kassel in the ten tendering years to date.

In addition to regular teaching, it is also possible to gain knowledge from the areas of women's and gender studies , environmental sciences , intercultural skills and project management via certificate programs .

Since 2019, the university has been offering the plusMINT pilot course, which is unique in Hesse. Interested parties study various MINT subjects for a year on a trial basis and take the credits they have acquired with them to the course they ultimately choose.

The University of Kassel is a member of the “Digitally Supported Teaching and Learning in Hessen” association.


The research profile of the University of Kassel comprises eight focal points:

  • Empirical educational research and university research
  • Energy supply systems of the future
  • Industrial system technology - simulation of technical systems
  • Culture and gender research
  • Nanostructural science
  • Socially beneficial information technology design
  • Social policy, development policy and decent work
  • Environment, climate and nutrition

Research at the University of Kassel is often organized on an interdisciplinary basis. This applies in particular to the four scientific centers: INCHER -Kassel researches education and universities, ITeG researches socially acceptable technology design, CESR researches climate change and resource consumption and CINSat researches nanotechnology. In addition, there are numerous competence centers such as the competence center for climate protection and adaptation CliMA . Various research groups coordinate research projects of supraregional importance: for example, on changes in land use in megacities, on crises in Latin America and basic research on the chirality of molecules.

Knowledge transfer

The University of Kassel particularly supports knowledge transfer and start-up culture. In 2013, the Federal Ministry of Economics awarded her the title “Founding University”. Since 2015, the city and university have been promoting start-ups in the Science Park Kassel on the central campus. According to a study from 2011, around 10,000 jobs in the North Hesse region are directly attributable to spin-offs from the university. The weekly newspaper " Die Zeit " recognized the university's role in the regional economy in 2017 as a role model for universities outside Berlin.


Teaching at the University of Kassel is shaped by the so-called Kassel model , a teaching concept with a high degree of practical relevance and graded degrees, which is based on the teaching degree programs reformed when it was established, project studies in the degree programs social affairs and architecture, urban planning and landscape planning, and history as a comprehensive university is. In all courses of study, internships must be completed at a very early stage.

With the endowed professorship on the work and impact of the Brothers Grimm, there is the only professorship in Germany in Kassel that is entirely dedicated to Germanists and fairy tale collectors. Not to be confused with this is the Grimm visiting professorship, which goes to a writer from the German-speaking area every summer semester. In addition, there has been a visiting professorship in honor of the religious theological educational philosopher Franz Rosenzweig since 1987 .

The Kunsthochschule Kassel is a semi-autonomous department of the university.

The university cooperates with the Global Labor University and has thus developed a liberal-union, business-oriented consulting and competence focus.

The department of civil and environmental engineering performed best nationwide in the 2016 CHE ranking .

Accessibility at the University of Kassel

In 2009, the position of an officer for studies and disabilities was set up in order to implement the concept of “One University for All”. This institution aims to enable all people with chronic illnesses and disabilities to study. This goal is to be achieved through cooperation with other institutions and people at the university in order to promote accessibility so that, among other things, new buildings are more accessible. In addition, advising examination offices and students about the opportunities at this university is an important task.

Student cultural life

Student house on the north campus

In November 2019, the AStA at the University of Kassel and other student initiatives moved into the so-called student house in a renovated former industrial building on the central campus. Students were involved in the planning of the renovation. The student house also houses the "Dyeing" event center. In the vicinity of the Holländischer Platz campus and in the southern part of the city near the art college, numerous student pubs, cafes and galleries have emerged in recent years, some of them run by university graduates.

In addition to the students' own nature of the StuPas and the AStA , the DesAStA café and the structure of the autonomous sections also contribute significantly to the enrichment of student cultural life on campus and beyond. The Autonomous Disability Unit (ABeR) has existed since the late 1980s, and the Autonomous Unit for Women and Gender Policy (FreiRaum) and the Autonomous Gay Unit (ASR) since the early 1990s .

Between 1982 and 1987, the " The Ramp " memorial by the artist and sculptor ER Nele was erected on the central campus . It commemorates the Holocaust and forced labor and urges the victims of fascism to be commemorated.

As an independent body, the Studentenwerk Kassel contributes to the social and advisory support and care and is an integral part of student life. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the HoPla campus with its facilities and a dormitory. In addition, it operates the canteens and cafeterias at all locations of the University of Kassel. In the “Mensa of the Year” competition organized by, the bistro K10, located on the “Holländischer Platz” campus, came third in 2010 and second in 2011.

In addition to medium²Plus , which has been published by the composed student body for several years, the university publishes the university newspaper publik . After more than thirty years as a newspaper, publik has been appearing in magazine format since 2011.

Departments (faculties)


Institutions and institutes (selection)


The Hessian State Archives (StAM) in Marburg

The archive of the University of Kassel is kept as a deposit in the Hessian State Archive in Marburg (holdings 420 to 429). It includes u. a. the archivable documents of the central administration, the individual departments and the predecessor institutions, including the Werkkunstschule. This means that a cooperation that has lasted for centuries, even if it has only been indirect so far, continues. However , the University of Marburg does not have its own university archive as an institution .




Visiting professorships

  • Safiye Can (2017), poet, bestselling author, poet of concrete and visual poetry, literary translator

See also


  • Annette Ulbricht (Ed.): From Henschelei to University. The campus of the University of Kassel on Holländischer Platz and its history. Kassel, 2004; ISBN 3-89958-099-0 PDF
  • President of the University of Kassel (ed.) 1986: 40 years of civil engineering studies in Kassel from 1946 to 1986, a look back. Self-published
  • Presidium of the University of Kassel (ed.) Forty Years of the University of Kassel , Kassel University Press, ISBN 978-3-86219-196-3 , 2011

Individual evidence

  1. ^ University of Kassel> Presidium. Accessed July 31, 2019 .
  2. a b c d University of Kassel: facts and figures. Retrieved January 24, 2019 .
  3. Scientific Centers
  4. see literature 40 years of civil engineering studies in Kassel
  5. Orientation Guide for Students with Disabilities or Chronic Illnesses (2012)
  6. a b
  9. Monument topography Federal Republic of Germany - cultural monuments in Hessen, Volume 38, City of Kassel II (Vorderer Westen - Südstadt - Auefeld - Wehlheiden), Thomas Wiegand, 2005.
  10. ^ University of Kassel (publisher): publik, magazine of the University of Kassel. 40th year, No. 2 2017: Hosts with a past, p. 10ff
  11. ^ University of Kassel (publisher): publik, magazine of the University of Kassel. 40th year, No. 2 2017: Hosts with a past, p. 10ff
  14. as of December 2019
  15. List of additional qualifications at the University of Kassel. Retrieved March 29, 2020 .
  19. Amerika-internationaler-forschungsverbund-sucht-respen-auf-krisen /
  26. Studying with a chronic illness or disability ( memento from June 11, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) at
  28. Cafeteria of the Year 2010 ( Memento from May 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), at, accessed on June 18, 2012.
  29. Refectory of the Year 2011 ( Memento from June 29, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), on, accessed on June 18, 2012.
  31. ^ ITeG page at the University of Kassel
  32. ^ Hessisches Staatsarchiv Marburg> University of Kassel ( comprehensive university) with an overview of the holdings of general administration  In: Archive Information System Hessen (Arcinsys Hessen), accessed on September 9, 2011.
  33. HStAM inventory 423 series: Overview of the archived documents of the departments  In: Archive Information System Hessen (Arcinsys Hessen), accessed on September 9, 2011.
  34. HStAM 429/2: Overview of the inventory of Werkkunstschule  In: Archivinformationssystem Hessen (Arcinsys Hessen), accessed on September 9, 2011.
  35. Introduction. Retrieved December 13, 2019 .
  36. José Pinto: Bereavement at SMA: Co-founder Günther Cramer is dead. In: Hessische / Niedersächsische Allgemeine . January 8, 2015, accessed December 26, 2019 .
  37. Konrad Rühling: Alexander Mitscherlich Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Kassel. Retrieved September 17, 2018 .
  38. Full text, not printable

Web links

Commons : University of Kassel  - collection of images, videos and audio files


Coordinates: 51 ° 19 ′ 22 "  N , 9 ° 30 ′ 27.2"  E