29 Nobel Prize winners are associated with this university, including the medical researcher Robert Koch and the physicists Max Planck, as well as Albert Einstein. The university is the most famous in the city. Known as the HU Berlin, it was founded in 1809 on the initiative of the Berlin linguistic Wilhelm von Humboldt. It initially attracted 250 students to the faculties of Law, Medicine, Philosophy and Theology. There are now more than 250 different courses and more than 35,000 students. The university remains committed to Humboldt’s educational ideals, including holistic education, integration of research and teaching, and academic freedom. Since the ideal of independence of research was not fulfilled in the GDR, an extensive revision of the curriculum was undertaken after 1989, initially met with some controversy and leading to extensive changes in staff. Research and teaching methods were re-evaluated and redefined, and Humboldt’s basic principles were re-established as the guiding theme: a blend of humanities and science to ensure that scientific progress in the university is used to serve society.
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