Leuphana still on path of growth

More than 7,000 students – 30 percent more first semester students – high quality of supervision unchanged

Lüneburg. The number of students at Leuphana University of Lüneburg is increasing. In this winter semester, 7,323 young academics are enrolled at Leuphana; this means an additional number of about 350 students compared to the previous year. In view of the double cohort of Abitur graduates and due to suspension of military conscription this year, Leuphana provided an additional number of nearly 400 student places and saw record demand for them. The University expects that the number of students will continue to rise in the years ahead.
Within the scope of the so-called University Pact of the German Federal Government and the German Länder, Leuphana has been able to increase the number of student places by 30 percent this year. For this purpose, it received additional funding. Already last year, Leuphana admitted nine percent more students to the first semester, which was far more than the national average. The President of Leuphana, Sascha Spoun, views this development in a positive light: “As far as the increase in the number of first semester students is concerned, we take the lead among all universities in Lower Saxony. This way we contribute to ensuring future opportunities for young people who will start studying either now or in the next years.” Spoun points out that this development does not result in any loss of quality. The favorable student-lecturer ratio achieved over the past years will also be maintained in the future.

As regards the distribution of students according to higher education institution, 4,872 young academics are currently doing their undergraduate studies and pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Leuphana College. The number of master’s students and doctoral candidates enrolled at Graduate School amounts to 1,605. And the number of students enrolled in further education programs at Professional School amounts to 411. The number of students enrolled at any of the three higher education institutions is likely to rise. 435 students are still enrolled in programs of study which will soon be discontinued. The percentage of female students is about 60 percent.

The demand among first semester students for the subjects of Environmental Sciences, Business Administration/Economics, Cultural Studies, and Business Psychology was particularly strong. The newly introduced Political Science program proved to be a great success from the very beginning: the number of students applying for admission to this program was seven times higher than the number of student places available. And Leuphana Graduate School is continuing to grow as well: the number of students enrolled in the master’s programs has increased by nearly 30 percent. The master’s programs at Leuphana are a very popular option among students who earned their bachelor’s degree at another university: they make up more than 60 percent of all students, which is particularly high compared to the national average. Acceptance rates at Professional School went up as well: the number of students increased by nearly 25 percent.

“Growth is not merely a matter of the number of students”, emphasizes Sascha Spoun, the President of Leuphana University, “major indicators for qualitative growth of a university are research performance and the number of scientists and scholars.” Among other aspects, research performance can be measured on the basis of the number of scholarly publications and citations. According to the Web of Science index of international publications, the number of citations has increased by about 50 percent over the last three years.

Leuphana University of Lüneburg intends to enhance research performance also by appointing new professors. Since August 2009, no less than 40 vacancies for professors have been filled. This will have a positive impact on the student-lecturer ratio. Currently, there are 45 students for every one professor, compared to 60 students five years ago. Over the same period, the number of research assistants has also developed well with a rate of increase of about 40 percent.