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Green universities

German higher education institutions where studying and doing research are especially sustainable. Find out more about three universities that have set a good example.

Miriam Hoffmeyer, 12.11.2020
Refectory at the Forest Campus of Eberswalde University
Refectory at the Forest Campus of Eberswalde University © HNE Eberswalde

Green electricity for university buildings, recyclable cups in the refectory and degree courses in environmental technology: more and more universities in Germany are looking at ways of realising sustainable development. So far, however, the subject has only shaped the overall profile of a few institutions. We introduce you to three universities where everything revolves around sustainability – with a strong focus on international students.

Environmental Campus Birkenfeld

The Environmental Campus Birkenfeld in the idyllic Nahe valley is regarded as “Germany’s greenest higher education institution”. Since 2017 the campus of Trier University of Applied Sciences has been the highest ranked German higher education institution in the GreenMetric university ranking; it has also held sixth place worldwide. The campus was built in 1996 on the basis of an ecological design with a carbon-neutral energy supply. Sustainability is the central theme linking the courses on offer. “At the Environmental Campus we present an excellent example of how climate-neutral activity, research and teaching are becoming possible,” says Professor Dorit Schumann, President of Trier University of Applied Sciences.

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Leuphana University Lüneburg

Students at the Faculty of Sustainability at Leuphana University learn to view sustainability from perspectives that are otherwise usually separate: they range from economics and ecology through politics and law, ethics and educational studies to chemistry. All first-semester students complete a project on the theme of sustainability. “It is important to us that knowledge gained in this field should play a part in civil society and lead to concrete projects,” says Professor Sascha Spoun, President of Leuphana University.

Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (EUSD)

Everything revolves around sustainability at Brandenburg’s smallest university. EUSD students can choose between 20 study programmes and specialise, for example, in ecological agriculture, information technology for forestry and the environment, sustainable tourism or nature conservation. In October 2020 the university launched a globally unique interdisciplinary MSc course in biosphere reserves management that focuses on the administration and development of biosphere reserves.


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