skip to content

Social engagement

At the time of its foundation in 1388, the University of Cologne was the first university in the then Empire to be founded by a citizenry - an essential unique selling point that was also highlighted in 1919 when it was reestablished as a "municipal university". Its history as a civic university gives rise to a special responsibility to address pressing social issues in research and teaching. The necessary mutual exchange with the non-academic world is a constant claim of the University of Cologne.

On the one hand, there are the individual members of the university who pursue different types of social commitment: Students are involved in numerous student initiatives, scientists are engaged in public relations work and Citizen Science projects or advise the media and politics as experts.

On the other hand, the university itself is an institutional actor of civil society. Together with other research institutions in Cologne, it is involved in the Kölner Wissenschaftsrunde to foster the exchange between urban society and science. In numerous public events, it offers interested citizens the opportunity to participate in scientific and social discussions.

Former members are also actively involved via the alumni network. The university is also committed to educational justice. Target group-specific offers such as talent scouting at schools or the advisory work of the association „Erste Generation Promotion e.V.“ contribute to this. The social egagement of the University of Cologne is not regionally limited. In numerous projects, educational and research institutions in the global South are supported in building sustainable structures and processes through capacity building.