History of the University

Leuphana University of Lüneburg is a young university that reflects the development of higher education in Germany. Its institutional history reaches back 60 years at a location with an educational history of several hundred years.

Leuphana through the years

  • 1471: Emperor Friedrich III grants permission for founding a Higher School for Law in Lüneburg.
  • 1479: Pope Sixtus IV approves the establishment of a university including all upper faculties and a program of general studies.
  • 1946: Foundation of a Pedagogical University (PH) in Lüneburg at the initiative of the British. The objective of the new teacher training institution was to contribute to a new democratic tradition in Germany.
  • 1978: After the initial years of serving as a division of the Pedagogical University of Lower Saxony, the Lüneburg Pedagogical University becomes an independent institution of higher education with the right to award doctoral degrees.
  • 1980s: The academic spectrum is supplemented by economic sciences, social sciences, and cultural studies, and the University is granted full university status.
  • 1989: It became a university on the 1st of May, 1989, by parliamentary decree of the State of Lower Saxony.
  • 1990s: The Department of Environmental Sciences is set up. Today, it includes the UNESCO Chair for Sustainability and the first MBA program for entrepreneurial sustainability management worldwide.
  • 2003: The University of Lüneburg is one of the first five universities in Germany that is transformed into a foundation under public law. It is thereby granted the highest level of autonomy among public universities.
  • 2005: Merger of the University of Lüneburg and the University of Applied Sciences of Northeast Lower Saxony. As a result, the disciplines of Business Economics and Social Work supplement each other. In other areas, however, the academic spectrum of the former academic institutions is extended as follows: by Automation Engineering, Business Law, and Business Psychology as offered by the former University of Applied Sciences, by Teacher Education, Cultural Studies, Economic and Social Sciences, and Environmental Sciences as offered by the former University. After the merger practical relevance plays an even greater role at the new University. This is shown symbolically by receiving the award for the Most Founder-Friendly University in Germany.
  • 2006: Approval and implementation of a fundamentally new alignment of the University. The objective is to establish a model university in compliance with the Bologna process and to introduce tiered bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
  • 2007: As a result of the new strategic alignment, the University is named Leuphana University of Lüneburg in March 2007. Ever since, the new study and university model has been realized.
  • 2007: The College for undergraduate education opens.
  • 2008: In the following winter semester 2008/09 the Graduate School takes up work.
  • 2009: The Professional School for continuing education and business outreach programs opens its doors in summer semester 2009.

The University now has three campuses in Lüneburg

  • Until the mid-1990s, the buildings of the main campus on Scharnhorststrasse were used as army barracks, as witnessed by the somewhat austere traditional brick architecture. The architecture of the 1930s has been opened up by modern, well-lit buildings accommodating the lecture auditoriums and the university library and by gardens and green biotope areas. On-campus accommodation is now available for more than 100 students in the halls of residence of the Student Services and of Campus e.V., originally a student initiative.
  • A brick building from the German Empire stands at the center of the campus at Rotes Feld. It was used as a school building as early as at the beginning of the last century.
  • Modernity and technology dominate the campus at Volgershall: it includes a hall stretching over 200 meters in length, which is used, among others, for automation engineering experiments.

About the Campus' History

Read detailed research findings about the history of the university campus here (pdf-download in German only).