The Helmut Schmidt University is one of two universities of the Bundeswehr. Its formal foundation in 1972 as “College of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg” goes back to the initiative of the then Defense Minister Helmut Schmidt, whose name she received in 2003. One year later, in October 1973, the first 300 officers and officers began their studies, which is why we accept this year as the date of foundation. For what would a university be without students?

A science degree with a universally recognized degree as an integral part of officer training has been introduced to fulfill several objectives. Firstly, it was intended to put the officer’s qualifications on a scientific footing in the face of ever more complex demands in his professional fields. On the other hand, an educated officer fulfills the concept of “Innere Führung” and the mission statement of the “citizen in uniform”: a soldier who thinks and acts responsibly for himself and for others. At the same time, academic education should increase the attractiveness of the officer’s profession by preparing the time soldiers for their civilian careers after their 13 years of service.

Why were these goals not achieved with the help of public universities? On the other hand, it was said that not enough places could be provided for the Bundeswehr and that none of the universities was able to guarantee the realization of a shortened study period. In addition, such an extraordinary combination of different faculties at one university could be united: Humanities, engineering, economics and social sciences can be found under the roof of a single university again.

The diversity of the different disciplines enables another unique characteristic of the universities of the Bundeswehr: The interdisciplinary networking of study subjects through so-called “Interdisciplinary Study Units” (ISA). They are a mandatory part of all offered courses. The task of the ISA is to convey the skills of reflection, analysis and action and to enable them to make responsible decisions and actions in politics, society, culture, economics and technology.

Since the beginning of teaching in 1973 and the awarding of the first diplomas in 1976, a lot has changed. In 1978 the university received the doctoral and habilitation law and in 1985 the name “Universität der Bundeswehr Hamburg”. The first female students came to the university in 2001, followed by the first civilian fellowship students in 2002. In 2007, as part of the creation of a common European higher education area through the Bologna process, the entire range of courses was switched to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

The university, with around 2,500 students and more than 900 employees, is now the largest department of the German Armed Forces in the Hanseatic city. It remains unchanged and remains that the Helmut Schmidt University in tasks, structure and rights is organized according to the requirements of the Hamburg Land Law. Research and teaching are free, their academic affairs are managed by the university itself.

Selected literature

  • Education commission at BMVg (ed.): Reorganization of education and training in the Bundeswehr. Opinion of the education commission to the Federal Minister of Defense. Bonn 1971
  • Bonnemann, A. / Posner, C .: Studying at the UniBw: Comparative Results from the Student Survey 1999. Hamburg 2002
  • Brockmann, F .: Helmut Schmidt’s new education concept, in: Leaves for German and international politics 9, 1971, p. 913ff.
  • Bulmahn, T./Fiebig, R./Wieninger, V./Greif, S./Flach, M.H./Priewisch, M.A .: Results of the student survey at the universities of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg and Munich 2007. Strausberg 2010
  • The President of the University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg (ed.): 1973-1993. Twenty years University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg. Festschrift. Hamburg 1993
  • Ellwein, T. u. a .: The political practice of science. Development of curricula for the universities of the Bundeswehr. Opladen 1975
  • Ellwein, T. u. a. (Ed.): University of the Bundeswehr between education and university reform. Aspects and documents of the foundation in Hamburg. Opladen 1975
  • Marr, R. (ed.): Kaderschmiede Bundeswehr? From officer to manager. Career perspectives of graduates of the universities of the Federal Armed Forces in economics and administration. Munich 2001
  • Reuter-Boysen, C .: Pioneer for the University Reform? Planning, foundation and development of the University of the Bundeswehr Munich. Baden-Baden 1995
  • by Schröders, A .: student and soldier. Studying between compulsory service and academic freedom at the universities of the Bundeswehr. Baden-Baden 2007

Letzte Änderung: 1. December 2020