ECTS - European Community Course Credit Transfer System
University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty of Medicine

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The University of Duisburg-Essen

History of the University of Duisburg-Essen

The Folkwang College of Art was founded in 1927 in Essen. It remained the only college in the Ruhr area until well into the 1960s. To combat the problems caused by structural changes in this region and to create university places near the students' homes, the University Clinic of Essen was established in 1963. Universities were then opened in Bochum (1965), Dortmund (1968), Essen (1972) and Duisburg (1972). The German Open University was founded in Hagen in 1974. The private University of Witten/Herdecke opened in 1983. In addition to these universities several polytechnics were founded. In this way a particularly high density of universities developed in the Ruhr region. As the data show, the Essen Faculty of Medicine was established in 1963, long before the University of Essen opened . The clinic replaced the municipal hospitals and clinics of Essen and was affiliated to the Medical Faculty of the Westphalian Wilhelms-University from 1963 to 1967. From 1967 to 1972 the Clinic of Essen belonged to the Ruhr University of Bochum until it became part of the newly established University of Essen. In 2003 the University of Essen merged with the neighbouring University of Duisburg. We ar now the University of Duisburg-Essen.

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The University of Duisburg-Essen Today

Today about 30.000 students study at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Circa 5.000 students come from foreign countries. Studies are offered in 13 faculties. The spectrum ranges from humanities and social sciences to art and design, natural and engineering sciences up to medicine. 3.600 people are employed in the areas of teaching, research and administration. In Addition 5.000 co-workers contribute to the treatment of patients, to the education of 1.760 medical students and to the administration of the medical faculty. The combination of academic theory and professional experience is a particular aim of this university.

Despite its brief history, the University of Duisburg-Essen has achieved a high profile in research. The medical institutions e.g. have achieved pioneering work with operations on the retina using light coagulation. In addition Essen has become an important centre for kidney, liver, heart, lung and bone marrow transplants. The medical faculty places emphasis especially on the areas cancer research as well as on the field of heart/ circulation research. Several special research areas, e.g. on the field of biomaterials, and a graduate college are evidence of successful work carried out by the medical faculty.

The university administration with its Academic Office for International Relations (AAA) lies north of Essen city centre (Universitätsstraße 2, 45117 Essen). From the clinical area of the university, the university administration can be reached with the tram line 17 in about ten minutes.

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The Medical Faculty of the University of Duisburg-Essen

The faculty of medicine of the University of Duisburg-Essen, which emerged from the municipal clinics in 1963, is situated in the district of Holsterhausen very near to one of the most beautiful municipal parks, the Gruga (Large Ruhr horticultural show). The local transport service means that the clinic grounds, where the preclinic and clinic institutes are situated, can be reached easily starting at the central railway station. The underground line 17 reaches Holsterhauser Platz in six minutes. The tram line 106 needs twelve minutes for this journey. All institutes and clinics on the clinic grounds can be reached within ten minutes. With 1,900 students, of which about ten per cent are foreign, the faculty is one of the smaller medical training centres in Germany which definitely makes the contact between the students and lecturers easier. About 300 students successfully complete their medical studies annually. Fifty per cent of these graduates have gained a medical doctorate at the faculty.

More and more Essen students are participating on exchange programmes: An exchange between Alicante and Essen started for the first time in 1987 as part of the Erasmus programme. In the following years this programme was expanded which was started by the directors of surgery in Essen and Alicante, the professors Eigler and Medrano. Barcelona, Strasbourg, Paris, Lille, Bratislava, Kosice, Budapest, Maastricht, Leuven, Siena, Aarhus have also become partners in this project. For an Erasmus intensive programme for transplant medicine in Spring 1993 there were around 200 foreign EC students in Essen, to learn about the chances and risks of these treatment possibilities. In addition since 1990 two to three students from Alicante and Essen in the preclinic section absolve their anatomy course at the respective partner university. Other exchange programmes exist in addition to the Erasmus projects, for example, with the universities in Nishniy Nowgerod (Russia) and Eskisehir (Turkey). In addition, there are close ties between the medical faculties in Essen, Peking and Wuhan (Peoples' Republic of China). For this reason there are many Chinese students in Essen, who complete their studies and do their PhD here. Since 1988 hundreds of students from Essen have participated in exchange programmes. Almost all of them regard their participation as an enrichment to their studies. These students are evidence that these programmes should be further extended.

Foreign students and young scientists also come to Essen because of the good reputation that this young faculty enjoys. Many scientists in this faculty achieve distinctions or are called to professor chairs in other faculties. Every year numerous symposiums, congresses, conferences and guest lectures take place at which scientists from Germany and abroad participate.

The medical faculty and the attached university clinics with their 4.800 employees are also an important economic factor for a city like Essen. The tasks in teaching, research and medical care are carried out by about 110 academic teachers (professors, lecturers, etc.) and more than 700 further doctors, psychologists, biologists, chemists and physicists as well as about 1.500 care assistants.

In Essen and its surroundings there are well-equipped hospitals which act as academic teaching hospitals. They contribute to the good training of Essen medical students during clinical practice and the practical year.

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The City of Essen

Essen where the medical faculty is located about 600.000 inhabitants and is one of the ten largest city in Germany. The area, which spreads about twenty kilometres from north to south, is situated in the centre of the Ruhr and also borders on the cities of Bochum, Gelsenkirchen, Oberhausen and Mülheim. Most of the over forty districts were independent communities until the beginning of the twentieth century and some of these had a remarkable history of cultural developments. For example, the Abbey of Werden was one of the most important religious centres north of the Alps 1200 years ago. Around 800 a.d. relicts of the holy doctors Cosmas and Damian were brought to Essen. They became patrons of the collegiate church built around 870 a.d. which has developed to the minster church of Essen. The most treasured items of the famous cathedral treasure originate from the early Middle Ages: The golden Madonna, the first sculpture of the Virgin Mary in the western world and a famous seven armed candelabra.

In the 19th century Essen became a centre of the mining and steel industry. The Krupp firm grew with the expansion of the railway network in Germany and developed to one of the most important armament factories at the beginning of this century. After World War II, in which large areas of Essen were destroyed by bombs, the mining and steel industry soon became vital for the rebuilding of Essen and West Germany.

Even thirty years ago heavy industry determined the image of the city in which almost 750,000 people lived. In the 1960s industrial change began to present the Ruhr area with particularly difficult challenges. Today there are no more coal mines in Essen. Miners and steel works have therefore lost their traditional places of work. In the difficult economic restructuring process, which still has not been completed, the city has developed into a centre for service industries, administration, trade and trade fairs. More than two thirds of all employers work in these areas, ten per cent of the largest German companies are administrated from Essen. In 1958 Essen became the seat of the Ruhr bishop and in 1972 of a university .

Guests visiting Essen for the first time are always astonished to find how much green is to be found in the city, especially in the south of Essen. Twenty-six per cent of the city's area is taken up with landscape areas and nature-protected sections. The large green belt areas in the town and along the eight kilometre long Baldeney lake have a high value for relaxation and leisure. In addition Essen is an important cultural centre whose art exhibitions in the Folkwang museum and in the Villa Hügel attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year from the whole of Germany and abroad. The symphonic concerts of the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra in the Saalbau and the operas in the Aalto Theatre, which was opened in 1988, are also famous outside the region. In addition Essen offers spoken theatre in the Grillo Theatre in the city centre and on the numerous small stages whose plays often attract attention with their daringness. The sophisticated cultural entertainment and the large leisure possibilities contribute greatly to the attractiveness of this city. It is therefore hardly surprising that exchange students often come back to Essen after their studies because they enjoyed their stay here so much.

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Last Revision: November 2008--- Please send e-mail to Prof. Dr. Eric Metzen, Departmental Co-ordinator