The Freie Universität Berlin (lit. “Free University of Berlin”, often abbreviated as FU Berlin) is a renowned research university located in Berlin and one of the most prominent universities in Germany.
It is internationally known for its research in the humanities and social sciences, as well as in the field of natural and life sciences. Founded in West Berlin during the early Cold War period and born out of the increasingly Communist-controlled Humboldt University, its name refers to West Berlin’s status as part of the free world, as opposed to the Soviet-occupied areas surrounding the city.
Freie Universität Berlin was one of nine German universities to win in the German Universities Excellence Initiative, a national competition for universities organized by the German federal government. Winning a distinction for five doctoral programs, three interdisciplinary research clusters (some of them in cooperation with other universities) and its overall institutional strategy as an “International Network University”, Freie Universität Berlin was the single most successful university in the initiative.