The University of Leipzig was founded in 1409 making it one of the oldest universities in Germany. It is an interdisciplinary, international comprehensive university. On its ambitious path to becoming a European top-level university and internationally recognised seat of research and learning for young scholars the University draws on an extensive range of subject areas. Crossing boundaries of traditional academic disciplines, international collaboration, networking with non-university research institutes and business are not just traditions of the University but are also the basis of its academic excellence. The University consists of 14 faculties with 128 institutes. 35,000 persons research, teach and study at the university and more than 4,300 persons are employed at the University Hospital of Leipzig. The university offered 136 courses of study in the 2009/10 winter semester. 5,686 doctoral candidates are registered at the UL (2,439 in medicines), 631 of whom are enrolled in 20 structured graduate training programmes (as per the end of 2009). The research potential in Leipzig is fortified by 20 non-university research institutions and five other universities. As a university steeped in tradition, the UL has always become stronger when emerging from difficult transitions. The phase after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 was dominated by a virtually complete restructuring of the humanities and social sciences while the life sciences and natural sciences were adapted to new accents in research and teaching. The fundamental reformation of its structures and courses of study was also combined with the opportunity to promote interdisciplinary collaboration from the onset and take advantage of arising synergies. The UL has been placed as the best university in the New Laender and among the top 25 in Germany in the fourth consecutive year (by the Shanghai Ranking).
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