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University of Basel

University of Basel
Universität Basel
Latin: Universitas Basiliensis
Established 1460
Type Public
Endowment CHF538,9 million
Rector Antonio Loprieno
Academic staff
Students 12,955
Location Basel, Basel-City, Switzerland
Affiliations Utrecht Network
Website .ch.unibaswww
Old University Basel

The University of Basel (German: Universität Basel) is located in Basel, Switzerland, and is considered to be one of the leading universities in the country. In 2012, QS World University Rankings[1] ranked the university 121st overall in the world, while two years before it was ranked 96–98th worldwide according to the Russian based Global University Ranking.[2] In 2012, the ARWU[3] ranked the university as the 85th best worldwide. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015/16 listed the university in 101st position.[4]


  • History 1
  • Organization 2
    • Faculties 2.1
    • Student associations 2.2
    • Notable alumni 2.3
  • Associated institutions 3
  • Notes and references 4
  • See also 5
  • External links 6


Inauguration ceremony of the University of Basel, 1460

Founded in 1460, it is Switzerland's oldest university.[5]

Erasmus, Paracelsus, Daniel Bernoulli, Jacob Burckhardt, Leonhard Euler, Friedrich Nietzsche, Eugen Huber, Carl Jung, Karl Barth, Hermann Peter,[6] and Hans Urs von Balthasar are among those associated with the university.

The University of Basel was founded in connection with the Council of Basel. The deed of foundation given in the form of a Papal bull by Pope Pius II on November 12, 1459, and the official opening ceremony was held on April 4, 1460.[7] Originally the University of Basel was decreed to have four faculties—arts, medicine, theology and jurisprudence. The faculty of arts served until 1818 as foundation for the other three academic subjects. In the eighteenth century as Basel became more commercial, the university, one of the centers of learning in the Renaissance, slipped into insignificance. Enrollment which had been over a thousand around 1600, dropped to sixty in 1785 with eighteen professors. The professors themselves were mostly sons of the elite.[8]

Over the course of centuries as many scholars came to the city, Basel became an early center of book printing and humanism. Around the same time as the university itself, the Basel University Library was founded. Today it has over three million books and writings and is the largest library in Switzerland.

In 1830 the Canton of Basel split in two with the Federal Diet requiring that the canton's assets, including the books at the University library, be divided—two thirds going to the new half canton of Basel-Landschaft. The city, Basel-Stadt, had to buy back this share and the university became so impoverished that it drastically reduced its course offerings. Students were expected to continue their education after two years or so at a German university. In 1835 the enrollment at the university was forty students, mostly from the area.[8]

At the end of the 1990s the University entered a period of crisis; the management of the University was strongly criticized; Vice-Rector Gian-Reto Plattner wrote that "when no solution is found, the University must be closed. That would be more honest than allowing it to sink to the level of a simple college."[9]



  • Theology[10]
  • Law[11]
  • Medicine[12]
  • Faculty of Humanities (Phil I)[13]
  • Faculty of Science (Phil II)[14]
  • Business and Economy[15]
  • Psychology[16]
  • Interdisciplinary institutions
    • Europainstitut[17]
    • Jewish Studies [1]
    • Mensch-Gesellschaft-Umwelt (MGU)[18]
    • Centre for African Studies Basel (ZASB) [2]
    • Kulturmanagement [3]
    • Gender Studies [4]
  • Associated institutes

Student associations

  • Fachgruppen
    • Business and Economy (BESS)
    • Computer Science (fg.informatik)[20]
    • Chemistry (VBC)
    • Pharmacy
    • Geography
    • Geology (VBG)
    • History
    • Biology (VSB)
    • Medicine (FaMBa)
    • French Philosophy
    • Mathematics and Physics (FG 14)[21]
    • Meteorology
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Computational Sciences[22]
  • Dings-Shop Dings Shop
    • Shop for office materials for students
  • Universitätssport Universitätssport Basel
    • Organizing sport events and trainings for students
  • SKUBA: Studentische Körperschaft der Universität Basel Skuba Home
  • Calcutta Project Basel Calcutta Project Basel
    • International co-operation by students from Basel in India, Kolkata
  • GeZetera GeZetera
    • Newspaper made by students for students

Notable alumni

Associated institutions

Notes and references

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Grossman, Lionel, Basel in the age of Burckhardt (Chicago, 2000) p. 35, and note 20; p. 118
  9. ^ Plattner, Gian-Reto. Basler Zeitung, 29 August 2000, pp. 3–4
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Europainstitut der Universitat Basel
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^

See also

External links

  • Official Website of the university
  • History website of the university
  • Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) – an associated institute of the university – travel and tropical medicine, international health, medical parasitology and the biology of infection, public health and epidemiology.
  • Information about the university
  • Studierendenstatistik der Universität Basel
  • University Rankings – University of Basel(2008)
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