University tower
© Claudia Eulitz, Uni Kiel

The profile of Kiel University (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel)

Kiel University (also referred to as the CAU) uses research, teaching and the transfer of science to address the great challenges of our time in health, environmental and cultural change, nutrition and energy. In doing so, it ensures peace and preserves livelihoods for future generations. The CAU uses responsible actions to make sure that scientific discoveries are transferred into all sectors of our society by interdisciplinary thought - regardless of short-lived trends - where they are incorporated into political, economic and social decisions aimed at securing peace and prosperity.

When it was founded back in 1665, the CAU set itself the motto “Pax Optima Rerum: peace is the most valuable asset.” This maxim is as applicable today as it was over 350 years ago. The university wants to follow this key idea and contribute towards creating a peaceful, fair world in which everyone lives freely and comfortably. A world in which treating the environment with respect also enables future generations to enjoy the same benefits.

The CAU’s mission is:

Research and teaching that contributes towards peace, prosperity and maintaining a pluralistic, free society, and which addresses the challenges we are facing. They are based on strong disciplines. They require interdisciplinary collaboration. And they deal with transdisciplinary issues. We find solutions to today’s pressing problems and implement these together with stakeholders from society, industry and politics.


Teaching profile

Kiel University is dedicated to research-based teaching and learning. Therefore, the development of new teaching approaches is evolving constantly at the interfaces between research from the different scientific disciplines. Students from all over the world benefit from this: research results are quickly integrated into programme curricula and our academic staff is trained in-state-of-the-art teaching methods.

Research profile

The CAU is Schleswig-Holstein’s only fully-fledged university with a major focus on research. Over time, four dynamic priority research areas have systematically developed which are based on strong disciplines interacting together - Marine Science, Life Science, Societal and Cultural Change, and Nano Surface & Interface Science. Each individual research area makes a substantial contribution towards dealing with at least one of the grand challenges of our time.

Transfer profile

A university is not an island. It is an entity that impacts on, with and for society in a number of ways, by offering space for new ideas, passing on knowledge and values, enabling debates about controversial subjects. Universities train specialists, produce innovative products and start-ups, help companies to develop further, assist politics by giving advice and warnings. The CAU encompasses top quality, innovative science, a sense of responsibility and the transfer of knowledge. It advocates the university’s active role in society and aims to work closely together with the community to be the driving force behind regional, national and international development by looking for and finding pioneering solutions for our most pressing issues. This is the reason why the CAU maintains a variety of active connections with its partners in science, industry, politics and society.

History of the CAU

Kiel University has an eventful history spanning more than 350 years. It started off as a state school, overcame upheaval and crises, finally developing into a successful international research centre.


More about Kiel University’s history


The CAU is embedded in an international network of scientific, cultural, political and economic contacts and partnerships. This way, the University became a vibrant member of the scientific community and the society, which provide important impulses for CAU's productive development in return.

The Association of North German Universities

Universities in North Germany have been working together since 2008 in this political university forum and exchanging thoughts and ideas on key aspects of university politics, research and degree organisation.



International collaboration at the CAU

International collaboration is increasingly important. The CAU maintains national and international teaching and research relationships throughout the world.