Goethe University Frankfurt, positioned among the top international research universities, offers a wide variety of academic programmes, a diverse group of research institutes, and a focus on interdisciplinary approaches to solving complex problems. The university is named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Frankfurt-born polymath renowned for his exceptional contributions to literature, science, and philosophy.
Founded in 1914 with private funding and inspired by the legacy of the European Enlightenment, Goethe University stands out as a pioneering “citizens’ university”—and the history of the university is one of openness and public participation.
Today, Goethe University is one of the only universities in Germany that enjoys significant public funding alongside administrative autonomy and the ability to create a private endowment.
As a university with an endowment, a funding model rare in Germany’s system of higher education, GU enjoys considerable freedom from state control when it comes to the details of how a modern university should be run, including the appointing of professors. The endowment that is being built up will be invested specifically in promoting an excellent atmosphere in which to research, study, think, and create.
Situated in Germany’s most cosmopolitan and international city, the university attracts a diverse body of students and researchers from around the world. Students at Goethe benefit from studying and living in Frankfurt, the largest financial and trading centre in Europe—with plenty of opportunities to learn and practise speaking German. Today, Frankfurt is rated among the top 10 most liveable cities in the world (according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting).