Berlin University of the Arts

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Berlin University of the Arts
Universität der Künste Berlin
Berlin UdK Fasanenstrasse.jpg
Type Public
Established1696;326 years ago (1696)
Budget€ 95.5 million [1]
President Norbert Palz
Academic staff
473 [1]
Administrative staff
329 [1]
Students3,535 [2]
52°30′33″N13°19′37″E / 52.50917°N 13.32694°E / 52.50917; 13.32694 Coordinates: 52°30′33″N13°19′37″E / 52.50917°N 13.32694°E / 52.50917; 13.32694
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The Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK; also known in English as the Berlin University of the Arts), situated in Berlin, Germany, is the largest art school in Europe. It is a public art and design school, and one of the four research universities in the city.


The university is known for being one of the biggest and most diversified universities of the arts worldwide. It has four colleges specialising in fine arts, architecture, media and design, music and the performing arts with around 3,500 students. Thus the UdK is one of only three universities in Germany to unite the faculties of art and music in one institution. The teaching offered at the four colleges encompasses the full spectrum of the arts and related academic studies in more than 40 courses. Having the right to confer doctorates and post-doctoral qualifications, Berlin University of the Arts is also one of Germany's few art colleges with full university status.

Outstanding professors and students at all its colleges, as well as the steady development of teaching concepts, have publicly defined the university as a high standard of artistic and art-theoretical education. Almost all the study courses at Berlin University of the Arts are part of a centuries-old tradition. Thus Berlin University of the Arts gives its students the opportunity to investigate and experiment with other art forms in order to recognise and extend the boundaries of their own discipline, at an early stage of rigorously selected artists and within the protected sphere of a study course.

Within the field of visual arts, the university is known for the intense competition that involves the selection of its students, and the growth of applicants worldwide has increased during the years due to Berlin's important current role in cultural innovation worldwide. In the same way, the University of the Arts is publicly recognized for being on the cutting edge in the areas of Visual Arts, Fashion Design, Industrial Design, and Experimental Design.


The university's origins date back to the foundation of Academie der Mal-, Bild- und Baukunst (Academy of the Art of Painting, Pictorial Art, and Architecture), the later Prussian Academy of Arts, at the behest of Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg. The two predecessor organisations were Königliche Akademische Hochschule für ausübende Tonkunst (Royal Academy of Musical Performing Art) established in 1869 under Joseph Joachim, which also had adopted the tradition of the famous Stern Conservatory, and the Berlin State School of Fine Arts founded in 1875.

In 1975, both art schools merged under the name Hochschule der Künste Berlin, HdK. The organization received the title of a university on 1 November 2001.

Exchange program

The exchange program with UDK is a direct enrollment program offered during the fall, spring, and academic year to students interested in the arts and with four semesters of German language study. Each academic year the school receives 100 exchange students on the basis of institutional agreements. Students participating in the exchange are required to subsidize their own accommodations with little help from the school.

Art fair

Annually, the university opens its doors to the public in its four colleges (UdK Rundgang), offering one of the most important art fairs in Berlin due to new proposals that highlight its young artists.

Notable alumni

Gunter Grass, Nobel laureate in Literature Gunter Grass (1986) by Erling Mandelmann.jpg
Günter Grass, Nobel laureate in Literature
Kurt Weill in 1932 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0119, Kurt Weill.jpg
Kurt Weill in 1932

Notable teachers

See also

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