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History

May 2014
Top Spot
in CHE Ranking
Top Spot in CHE Rankings
In the CHE ("Center for High School Development") University Rankings for 2014/15, ZU is again ranked among Germany's top universities and colleges. In the field of economics, ZU is the highest ranked university in all of Germany. Above all, satisfaction with general study conditions and the studyability of the subjects was rated as outstanding. ZU is also in the top bracket of German universities in the areas of international orientation of study programs, students graduating in the standard period of study as well as research funds received. Additionally, ZU was rated among the leading universities in Germany as regards the range and the quality of the programs on offer, student support services, co-operation within the student body, the possibility of lecture evaluations, assistance for stays abroad, support on transition into the labor market and the quality of lecture rooms. The novelty of the economics programs on offer at ZU lies in the connection between business administration and economics with cultural studies, communication and media studies, as well as aspects of political science, and the science of public administration. The reason for this is the fact that managers and entrepreneurs are being confronted more than ever before with demands that can no longer be overcome with the functional range of classic business management alone.
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May 2014
ZF Campus
Topping-Out
Ceremony
ZF Campus Topping-Out Ceremony
Following the old builders' rite, ZU has a topping-out ceremony for the new ZF campus in Fallenbrunnen. In total there will be around 14,500 square meters of gross floor area, about half of which will be provided by old buildings, with the other half newly built. This should be in operation for the 2015 fall semester.
September 2013
System
Accreditation
System Accreditation
For its quality assurance system in the field of studying and teaching, ZU is to be awarded with so-called "System Accreditation" by the accreditation council and the ACQUIN agency – the first private university with an interdisciplinary business sciences, social sciences, and cultural sciences study program. Thus, ZU can autonomously broaden and further develop the programs on offer based on the accreditation process. In its programs it is also responsible for compliance with national and international quality standards as well as guidelines relating to college legislation.
June 2013
Ground-Breaking
Ceremony ZF Campus
Ground-Breaking Ceremony ZF Campus
A lively area with colleges, further education providers, cultural producers, businesses, and housing complexes will take shape in Fallenbrunnen in the next few years. With this project the new ZF Campus is making a big statement. With the completion of the future university building, which is a combination of historical form (old building) and modern architecture (new building), everything should be fully operational in 2015, just in time for the fall semester. With this the existing LakeCampus will be completed and the ContainerUni (which will only be a temporary solution up until that point) will be replaced. The construction project at the former barracks area in Fallenbrunnen is being made possible courtesy of a generous donation of 20 million euro from ZF Friedrichshafen AG to the ZU Foundation. Through these means the ZU Foundation is largely able to finance the construction and renovation project.
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October 2012
ContainerUni
Opening
Opening of the ContainerUni in Fallenbrunnen
Until the new ZF campus can be moved into in late 2015, the university will be in an experimental makeshift home. Since the fall semester in 2012, students and employees have been using the ContainerUni | CU in Fallenbrunnen in Friedrichshafen as an alternative location. The 2,500 square meter site comprises eleven seminar rooms, sixty offices, an "open test house" for student activities and a hangar for the ZU café "Mundvoll" ("Mouthful").
Realized over the course of two years, the design process was remarkably democratic. The wishes and requirements of the students and personnel were taken into account in a participative, artistic process which directly influenced the design of the ContainerUni. Artists Margit Czenki and Christoph Schäfer from Hamburg organized the process as a platform for exchange and joint production. Developed in conjunction with "quartier vier" architects, Zeppelin Rental built a landscape with roof gardens and sight-lines which cast a fresh look on the use of standard containers within urban development.
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June 2012
20 Million
Donation by ZF
20 Million Euro Donation makes new "ZF Campus" possible
In the coming years ZF Friedrichshafen AG will be donating a total of 20 million euro to the Zeppelin University Foundation. Through these methods, the university foundation is in a position to finance the new buildings planned for Zeppelin University in Fallenbrunnen in Friedrichshafen. As to the reasoning behind the huge donation, the company explains: "We see college funding as a long-term, strategic commitment". They see education as being, more than ever before, the key to success for both employees and companies. With the expansion of ZU, Friedrichshafen should become a more attractive location. The donation is another clear show of faith from ZF in Germany as a center for business – the whole region will profit from the investment.
"We are surprised, happy, and thankful" said ZU President Prof. Dr. Stephan A. Jansen. "This wonderful donation gives every colleague and student the long-awaited guarantee of campus expansion in the coming years. We also see it as an obligation to put our heart and soul into working on the mutually-agreed expansion of ZU."
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September 2011
Right to Award
Doctoral Degrees
Right to Award Doctoral Degrees
On the recommendation of the German Council of Science and Humanities, ZU was given the right to independently award doctoral and postdoctoral degrees (professorial teaching qualification) by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Arts and Sciences (MWK), thereby formally achieving scientific and research-oriented parity with the state universities.

“The completed and pending doctoral procedures conducted in cooperation with other universities highlight ZU’s capability to award doctoral degrees,” reports the Council of Science and Humanities . Since 2003, there have been more than 80 doctoral degrees earned by young ZU scientists, and there are currently an additional 90 pending. The doctoral programs will be further expanded within the scope of the established Zeppelin University Graduate School | ZUGS.
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February 2011
Winner of
"Germany's Most
Committed University"
Top Prize in "More than Research and Teaching – Colleges in Society" Sponsorship Scheme
ZU is awarded a top prize in the sponsorship scheme entitled "More than Research and Teaching – Colleges in Society" which is run by Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and Stiftung Mercator. Zeppelin University's "University Social Responsibility" project lies in its dedication to social commitments, going further than other universities which simply make plans and suggestions. After a two day long open selection meeting in the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, a senior jury with representatives from the fields of science and commerce as well as social institutions decided in favor of ZU, saying that the precision of the ideas which were presented, along with the existing and planned organisation, all point to success.
January 2011
65 Partner
Universities
65 Partner Universities Worldwide
ZU has 65 partner universities – worldwide and on every continent. Prestigious institutions in this group include colleges like the University of California in Berkeley, University of London's Goldsmiths College, and the Copenhagen Business School. With worldwide cooperation, ZU consistently pursues internationalization.

We use the term "glocalization" to describe the ZU brand of internationalization: rooted on the banks of Lake Constance, yet at home all over the world. All ZU students take part in internships abroad as well as spending one semester at one of our partner universities. And if that's not enough, students can take part in our GlobalStudies scheme. This is a program of learning and work experience on three continents. Students complete three internships on three different continents as well as one semester abroad.
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August 2010
ZU Professional
School Launch
Opening of the Zeppelin University Professional School | ZUPS
As an institute for further education, Zeppelin University Professional School brings together our study programs for working people who have one thing in common: they are focused less on a narrow definition of further education and more on tackling the dynamic, complex, exciting, and stimulating issues of our times. At the center of everything we do are the students with their own experiences and questions. Teaching methods, group projects, homework, independent presentations, and the possibility of drafting your own research proposal are just some aspects of this.
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February 2010
100 Start-Ups
Launched by Students
Over hundred Start-Ups Launched by Students
Zeppelin University considers itself an entrepreneurial university for the next generation of businesspeople. As a university which bridges business, culture, and politics, ZU is not focused on typical for-profit organizations alone, but rather it promotes social, political, and cultural entrepreneurship. Two accolades confirm the university's culture of launching Start-Ups: according to the Global University Entrepreneurship Spirit Students' Survey (09/2012), ZU students have the highest entrepreneurial aptitude of all students of law, commerce, and social sciences in Germany. In the 2011 "Gründungsradar" (an annual comparison of universities relating to business launches) run by Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, ZU achieved sixth place in the "Small Colleges" category, thus belonging to the group of colleges which are viewed as role models in relation to company start-ups.
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October 2009
Opening of FAB 18
ZU Opens CreativeQuarter at No. 18 Fallenbrunnen
Those who grow fast also need the comfort of free space. And this particular 1,600 square meter space were formally opened with a campus warming party attended by a large number of guests: No. 18 Fallenbrunnen, or FAB 18 for short. The rapidly refurbished campus offers seminar rooms and project rooms, art- and dance studios, a small cafeteria, and office spaces for up to fifty co-workers. This has resulted in a special "place of refuge" which will be used until the move to the new ZF campus.
"Fallenbrunnen is our future" said ZU managing director Katja Völcker at the formal inauguration. She thanked the Mayor of the city of Friedrichshafen, Dr. Stefan Köhler, and his colleagues, as well as the builders and architects, for their support in making the move to the new campus building possible in just three short months.
February 2009
Institutional
Accreditation
Institutional Accreditation by the German Council of Science and Humanities
ZU is the first ever private college in the south of Germany to achieve accreditation by the German Council of Science and Humanities. "ZU, which was founded in 2003, has made truly remarkable progress" explained Professor Peter Strohschneider, then chairman of the Council of Science and Humanities. He feels that in its role as a research-oriented private university and with the broad range of programs it offers, ZU is dedicated to providing a theoretical and a systematically work-oriented education in equal measure, thus furnishing its students with an "all-round multidisciplinary perspective which bridges business, culture, and politics." The Science Council believes that with this innovative approach, ZU presents opportunities that are vastly different from other universities. “Zeppelin University does have an ambitious guiding concept, but one that is definitely achievable based on their performance so far – particularly in light of their mere five years of existence as a university,” claims Strohschneider.
May 2008
First CHE Ranking
ZU in leading group in CHE rankings
With its Bachelor's degree, ZU entered the CHE College Rankings for the first time and immediately earned a top spot among Germany's universities. They achieved 8th place in the field of Communication and Cultural Studies, 5th place in Political and Administrative Sciences and 15th place in Economics. This means that all three ZU faculties are highly rated.
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January 2008
New Building at
LakeCampus
Inauguration of the new buildings and extensions at Seemooser Horn
Planned in 2007, moved into in 2008 – the new building on the LakeCampus at Seemooser Horn is situated directly on the waterfront of Lake Constance, or as ZDF put it, on the "Lake of Good Hope". Not many can claim to have Germany's most beautiful campus. The 3,400 square meter cube houses seminar rooms, project rooms for student initiatives, offices, research laboratories, a foyer for large events, and a library with 100 work stations, as well as a lounge and a cafeteria. The new building is conceived as a communication platform between science and society where study, research, and teaching sit side-by-side with enjoyment and recreation.
December 2007
"ZUtwelve"
Strategy
ZU becomes a privately-funded university and adopts the "ZUtwelve" future strategy
With effect from January 1, 2008, ZU will be a privately funded university. Connected with this is the transfer of the existing holding company to the ZU Foundation, in which all of the main sponsors of the university up to this point are represented. In this regard ZU is adopting a strategy for the future. After four years of construction, ZU is laying out numerous projects for the university's development in the coming years under the title of "ZUtwelve". In this way ZU wants to put itself in pole position among private colleges in Germany.
December 2006
Founding of Zeppelin
University Association ZU|G
Foundation meeting of the Zeppelin University Society (ZU|G)
The ZU|G sees itself as having a twofold function: it is a voice for the university in the region as well as a voice for the region in the university. As friends and sponsors, the members see it as vital that the idea of the university plays a part in the vibrant goings-on of the region to ensure the greatest benefit for all concerned. The membership base comprises citizens, companies, and institutions primarily from the region. Through events like the annual fundraising dinner with guests such as Federal Minister Peer Steinbrück (retired), Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle (retired), and Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as through donations from members and friends, the ZU|G was able to provide over 100,000 euro in subsidies to student projects and cultural pursuits within only five years of its inception.
June 2006
"Land of Ideas"
Award
Innovative Location Award in "365 Days in the Land of Ideas" Competition
In June 2006, ZU receives its first innovative location award in the "365 Days in the Land of Ideas" competition. Special praise is reserved for their innovative approach which, alongside the interdisciplinary nature of the programs, is reflected in concepts like GlobalStudies, StudentStudies, and TandemCoaching. The "Germany – Land of Ideas" initiative (2006 – 2012), in conjunction with Deutsche Bank, rewards ideas and projects which make a lasting contribution to Germany's future.
The second award in this competition follows in 2008. It receives an award together with the "You Change Your World" project which was initiated by the Ashoka Foundation, in which young people from the Lake Constance region are mobilized to be socially responsible.
May 2006
Opening of
"Public Management &
Governance"
3rd Department "Public Management & Government" opened
The third ZU department – Public Management & Governance – is opened in the presence of Prof. Dr. Udo di Fabio. The idea of the university as a bridge between business, culture, and politics is thereby fully realized. National and supranational political processes, the increasing modernization of public administration, as well as leadership challenges in large administrative institutions, and the extensive field of international relations in the world of today there is hardly a course of study which reflects more pressing, more complex, and more internationally-oriented aspects of the working world than Public Management & Governance with International Relations.
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November 2004
Citizens' University
Launch
"Citizens' University" event is launched
At Citizens' University ZU opens its doors and invites all interested citizens to a dialogue session with prominent personalities from culture, politics, and business. Already, TV stars like Thomas Gottschalk and Günther Jauch, top scientists like historian Jan Assmann, astronaut Thomas Reiter, or business gurus like Hans-Werner Sinn and Prof. Dr. Arnulf Baring have all put themselves forward as first lecturer. At the Citizens' University, visitors experience pioneering lectures and dialogues in the familiar multidisciplinary ZU style. With this format, ZU wants to open up the region even more and bring together interested people of all ages.
See photos
September 2003
Bachelor
Program
Launch
Launch of Two-Part Bachelor's Degrees
In the 2003 fall semester, for the first time, 19 students start Bachelor's degrees in Economics and in Communications and Cultural Sciences. ZU is thereby one of the first German universities to introduce a two-tier system of Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Meanwhile, ZU is one of the few private universities to offer the full spectrum of academic degrees: from Bachelor's degrees through full-time and part-time Master's degrees to Postdoctorals and Habilitations. According to a study conducted by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft in cooperation with McKinsey & Company, ZU is one of only three "Humboldtian" private universities in Germany.
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June 2003
Founding of ZU
Founding of Zeppelin University
In summer 2003 Zeppelin University receives university accreditation from the state of Baden-Württemberg. Financial backing is secured through Zeppelin GmbH and Prof. Dr. Stephan A. Jansen is appointed founding president. This marks the starting point for the establishment of an innovative university on the shores of Lake Constance and with views across the Alps – in the one-time workplace of the man who gave the university its name: Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin.
Count Zeppelin, a late nineteenth century tycoon, who no textbook could adequately describe and who for this very reason serves as a role model for a university committed to innovation but conscious of its tradition, with a global reach yet firmly rooted in the Lake Constance area, visionary and strong-minded like the man himself. In short, someone who made the improbable probable, because he had the desire.
This attitude represents the very reason for the establishment of Zeppelin University and a tradition of more than one hundred years.