History of the Europa-Universität Flensburg
The establishment of the College of Education Flensburg
Predecessor of the University of Flensburg was the College of Eduction (Pädagogische Hochschule, PH), which was opened in March 1946 by order of the British occupying forces. In the spring of 1957 the University was granted the right to academic self-government.
The Transformation from Teacher Training College to University
After the private Nordic University, which had its headquarters in Flensburg and Neumünster, had to close in 1989, the government of the Land Schleswig-Holstein decided in 1991 to strengthen Flensburg as a university location by doubling the number of study places, constructing new buildings, diversifying in terms of subjects and relocating courses from the PH Kiel (the teacher training college in Kiel) to the teacher training college in Flensburg ("Bildungswissenschaftliche Hochschule Flenburg"). As a result of these decisions, the degree program "Operational Training and Management" was launched on 1st September 1992. Right from the beginning, this course was run in cooperation with our Danish partner university (the then Handelshøjskole Sonderburg, now Syddansk Universitet). In close cooperation with Syddansk Universitet (SDU), and supported by the endowment of professorships sponsored by regional businesses, the economic and social science programs offered by the Europa-Universität Flensburg today have evolved from this first, non-traditional degree in educational science.
Partly as a consequence of this diversification, the Teacher Training College Flensburg ("Bildungswissenschaftliche Hochschule Flensburg") was awarded the additional title "university" in 1994/95. With this it was also granted the right to award post-doctoral teaching qualifications (Habilitationsrecht). The right to award doctorates was extended to the right to award the titles Dr. phil and Dr. rer. pol. In 1997, the decision was made to develop a training program for teachers in vocational schools in Flensburg. In February 2000, the "Bildungswissenschaftliche Hochschule Flensburg" was renamed "Universität Flensburg".
The University on its New Campus
At the same time as the University campus Flensburg first opened its doors to students in autumn 2002, the relocation of the teacher training program for teaching in primary schools and in common schools (Hauptschule) from the dissolved educational science department of the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (CAU) was completed; this relocation commenced in 1999. Following that, the teacher training programs for teaching at intermediate secondary schools (Realschule) and at special schools were also relocated and from then on all teacher training programs in Schleswig-Holstein for teaching at primary, lower/intermediate secondary and special schools were all provided by the University of Flensburg. At the same time, the University's economic and cultural studies departments were expanded in cooperation with SDU and new extra-curricular courses have been introduced since 2007.
Years of Reorientation
The years 2009 to 2012 were years of changes, uncertainties and disruptions for the University of Flensburg. During those four years, the University's management changed three times. In 2010 the government of the Land Schleswig-Holstein announced its austerity plans, which declared that the economics department of the University was to be closed down and the University itself was to be scaled down to a teacher training college. After numerous protests and initiatives, such as the position paper jointly drawn up by the Chamber of Commerce and the University of Flensburg, and supported by the University of Applied Sciences Flensburg, these plans were averted. The strong solidarity of town and region with its university continues to have an effect to this day. In 2011, for example, on the initiative of the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Initiative of Companies in Flensburg, the non-profit entrepreneurial company Hochschulförderfonds Flensburg (a fund for the aid of the University) was founded with the aim of strengthening Flensburg as a university location. After the closure of the University was averted, the University held several future workshops in 2011. During the course of these workshops, by way of a comprehensive discussion and development process, the mission statement of today and a new organizational structure, that meets the special requirements of the University, were agreed on.
The University Today
Starting with the winter semester 2013/14, teacher training at the University of Flensburg underwent a major reform. The former four-semester teacher training program was replaced by the new Bachelor’s degree in Educational Sciences, as well as the two-year Master’s degrees, Master of Education for Teaching in Primary Schools and Master of Education for Teaching in Common Schools. The standard period of studying for teachers of the Land Schleswig-Holstein is therefore ten semesters (five years).
In the summer of 2014, the Landtag (parliament) of Schleswig-Holstein adopted a new statute on teacher training, which involved another change to teacher training in Flensburg. As of the winter semester 2015/16 the Europa-Universität Flensburg will also offer teacher training for the upper secondary school level (Sekundarstufe II). At the beginning of this transition the subjects offered will be limited to Danish, German, English, history, mathematics and economics/politics. As of 2016/17 the subjects French, arts, Spanish, and physical education will also be offered. Teacher training at the secondary school level (Sekundarstufe I) and primary school level, respectively, will continue to be offered in all other subjects.
On 30th June 2014 the University was officially renamed Europa-Universität Flensburg. The event was celebrated with an official ceremony and a grand summer party with many guests. Ever since the University was founded there has been an idea to combine the special location close to the border and the University's expertise in the field of educational science to establish an Europa-Universität Flensburg. Science, politics and society worked hand in hand to make this idea a reality. This change of name pays tribute to this development and ensures that the international orientation of the University is now also firmly embedded in its title.