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The Heidelberg University has some 4,500 international students from 130 countries. It is one of the most popular German universities among students from abroad. The seed for its popularity was planted shortly after the foundation of the university in 1386. Just seven years later, in 1393, an English student from Canterbury visited the newly-founded university. Another sign of the early university's international popularity was the enrollment of the first student from the United States (from St. Louis) in 1793.

But the "Spirit of Heidelberg", a melange of myths that circle around the university, the castle, the river Neckar and German Romanticism, isn't enough to explain this attraction. For centuries the Ruprechts-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg University's official name, has enjoyed international acclaim as a center of excellent research and teaching. And as early as 1926 the university offered its first summer school for German Language and Culture. It has turned out to be a continued success. Every year more than 600 people come to Heidelberg from all over the world to participate in the course

Heidelberg University Best in Germany and 57th in the World

In the new THE-QS (Times Higher Education-Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings for 2008, Heidelberg University again heads the list of German universities and is now 57th in the world, improving its position by three places. In the humanities Heidelberg has moved up 13 places, now occupying 48th position internationally. Rector Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel sees this as evidence that the University is making outstanding progress.

It is the declared aim of Heidelberg University to establish itself as quickly as possible among the top comprehensive universities in the global higher-education landscape. It sees its improved standing in the new ranking as evidence of success in this endeavour and also as proof that the policies adopted in the context of the Initiative for Excellence – close interdisciplinary contact within the University plus intensive cooperation with non-university research institutions – hold out the best prospects for the future.

The THE-QS World University Rankings are among the best substantiated listings of their kind in the world.


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