German U15: Large German research universities join forces to represent their interests

U15 Karte
U15 Karte
Bildquelle: Nora Lorz Design



Who We Are


We, the U15 universities, comprise the strategic interest group for research-intensive, internationally regarded German universities with top medical faculties. U15 is our communication platform through which we define common goals and devise our strategies.


In the think tank U15 we operate as an expert network for higher education and research politics in order to make our goals visible. In this way, we evoke new ideas and incentives for higher education and research politics, and inform the public of the meaning and value of major research universities for society.


We U15 universities are internationally regarded, highly reputable for excellence in research and largely renowned. Our graduates are internationally-sought employees in science, social enterprise, business and politics. We offer a full range of subjects within the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and life sciences.


We qualify 31% of all students in Germany, preparing them for individual careers. 35% of all international students and 42% of all international doctorates study with us.




Moreover, our high visibility in all aforementioned fields and critical size bring us together. These factors result in strategic and structural challenges that we face together.


Each of our universities maintains its own strong, developed profile, unique history and culture. Through U15 we foster these profiles with the appropriate measures, thereby raising their potential.


With our distinct profiles and internationally visible research prowess, we are a member of the Research Universities International. Established in 2013, this global network of research universities unites approximately 180 research universities from different countries including Australia, China, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and the United States. Of these universities, about 150 belong to the top 200 universities worldwide.


What We Do


We conduct analyses and create reports with the goal of making our research results available to society, for a Europe that is future-oriented and innovative. Our goal is to successfully shape our universities with regard to sustainable strategies for higher education and research politics.


What We Want


It is our common duty, as an association for research-intensive universities, to serve society. As institutions for education and research, we aim to facilitate long-term security in the future by providing new knowledge to society.


We work to enable our students to carry out their studies by doing our best to qualify them for a future in science, social enterprise, politics and business.


We envision ourselves as places of knowledge production and places of knowledge transfer, which includes the education of students, graduates, staff as well as research and management personnel.


Our core duties, as stated in our guiding principles are:


  1. enabling long-term strong, basic research
  2. offering our students research-oriented teaching
  3. conducting the transfer of knowledge between society, politics and business