Leipzig University was founded in 1409. It is the second oldest German university with continuous teaching and research. Influential people like Wilhelm Leibniz, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, Friedrich Nietzsche, Erich Kästner, Carl F. von Weizsäcker or Angela Merkel studied here.
The university campus with an auditorium and modern lecture halls is located in the city centre. Because of its central position, the distances between the lecture halls or libraries on campus are short. As a traditional university town, Leipzig is home of multiple libraries. The German National Library offers a complete collection of all German publications since 1913.
Students find a large collection of academic literature of social sciences and humanities in the university library “Albertina”. It has been founded in 1543 and as one of the oldest of its kind in Germany has a huge inventory of historical documents. Additionally, the university has 15 further libraries with specific collections like the special collection of literature about communication and media. A lot of books in German as well as in English can be found in the Campus library in the main campus building. All in all, the university provides over 5.5 million books and 6.500 periodicals. In addition to the workplaces at the libraries, the students can use one of the computer pools with up-to-date text processing, editing or statistics software.
In addition, the Institute of Communication and Media Studies has an own research laboratory equipped for collecting psychophysiological and RTR-data as well as a continuous sample of all German TV News (artificial weeks) since 1995 available for content analysis.
The Institute of Communication and Media Studies stands in the tradition of the Institute for newspaper research that has been founded in 1916 and was the first of its kind in Germany. It is established as one of the biggest research and education institutes in Germany. The founder, the famous economist Karl Bücher, profiled a new science that has been developed by the first regular professor for newspaper research Erich Everth. During the time of the national socialist dictatorship, the Institute was misused to educate journalists supporting the system.
From 1946 on until the end of the GDR Leipzig was the only university providing an academic education for journalists. The institute educated journalists according to the ideology of Marxism-Leninism.
After the reunification, the Institute of Communication and Media Studies with its current profile has been founded. The Institute is divided in the following departments:
Besides these theoretical research topics the students have the opportunity to work application-orientated. Especially the local radio station Mephisto 97.6, run by students, offers chances to gain experiences in a media institution.
Today, more than 28.000 students study at the university that houses almost all scientific disciplines. Located in Central Germany, all of the country’s other metropolitan areas, like Berlin, are easy to reach. The city grows continuously and has by now more than 550.000 inhabitants. Most of the students live in the popular districts in the city’s West like Plagwitz or Schleußig, in the city’s South and a lot of the typical shared apartments can be found in the city’s East. During the summer, the numerous lakes around the town are the place to be – to swim, enjoy the sun and relax. Besides its lakes, Leipzig is also famous for its public parks and green areas.
A lot of tourists visit the city to see sights of times long ago as well as landmarks of contemporary history as Leipzig has been the center of the peaceful revolution leading to the end of the former GDR.
Not only people who are interested in history will be fascinated by the historic city center around the old at marketplace at the old city hall with its numerous arcades, Auerbachs Keller that is known as a setting in ‚Faust’ by Goethe, and the famous churches. Leipzig has museums, literary readings and really impressive events in Gewandhaus as well as Rock and HipHop concerts and also electronic dance clubs (and of course other great music events). The cultural life takes place in and beside the clubs, cafés or repertory cinemas.