In reality, Saarbrücken is not only the capital of the Saarland, but the very heart of a bustling commercial hub encompassing about one million people from two of the European Union’s strongest economies. The German headquarters of French automotive company Peugeot are based here, and Saarbrücken is also known as a progressive research hotbed, especially in the computer sciences.
Overview of the universities
In terms of competitive edge, Computer Science is one of the strongholds of Saarland University's research profile. State-of-the-art facilities include the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, the Max Planck Institute for Computer Sciences and the International Conference and Research Center for Computer Sciences at Dagstuhl Castle.
This tremendous brainpower in IT also manifests in other disciplines, including computational biology, computational linguistics and cognitive sciences. Computer and research skills are also matched by excellence in athletics.
In order to stimulate and guide the formation of spin-off companies and start-ups by researchers and students, the university has launched the Contact Center for Technology Transfer, and the Center for Innovative Production in cooperation with the Saarland University of Applied Sciences (HTW).
Saarland University of Applied Sciences (HTW)
High-tech and progressive, the University of Applied Sciences emphasizes progressive research with an eye for the international market place.
Like many competitive schools in Germany, the University of Applied Sciences offers attractive Bachelor degree programs — generally six to seven semesters — and Master's degrees from three to four semesters. Not surprisingly, given Saarbrücken’s international connections, nearly all programs feature integrated language courses in at least one foreign language.
Standouts in research include the Environmental Informatics Group (EIG) specializing environmental software applications, nowadays known under the terms Environmental Software Systems (ESS), at work on projects around the world. The school also works closely with the Institute for Future Energy Systems (ZES) on developing sustainable energies. Next to all the research, the students also know how to kick it — quite literally, as the school hosted the German university soccer championships in 2007.
Did you know?
Karl Marx Street: It’s a given for eastern German cities to have a street named after the Father of Communism. But due to Saarbrücken’s strong heritage as a working-class town — with nearby Volklingen steel works and a large number of factories in the area — the southern German city is one of few towns in the west with a Karl Marx Street on its grid.
Things to check out
Eclectic films: Saarbrücken prides itself on a rich cinematic tradition. Since 1980, the annual Max Ophuels Prize Film Festival, named for the Saarbrücken-born director, provides a showcase for young cinematic talent from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. For an entire week, you can catch participating feature films, shorts and documentaries at local cinemas.