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June 2020
Prof. Dr. Klaus Mühlhahn
new President and Director
Professor Dr. Klaus Mühlhahn is the new President and Director of the ZU
Professor Dr. Klaus Mühlhahn from Berlin, social scientist and specialist in cultural studies, is the new President of the ZU. The 56 year old, born in Constance, was elected by the ZU Senate and officially appointed to his position as President and also appointed as Director by the ZU Foundation, the supporting foundation of the ZU. Professor Mühlhahn is currently the Vice-President of Research at the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin. He will take up his post in Friedrichshafen by September 1st. at the latest; the period of office will be five years.
May 2020
Top position
CHE ranking
Top position CHE ranking
ZU has once again achieved a top position among Germany's universities and colleges in the 2020/21 university ranking published by the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE). In the area of bachelor and master's degree programs in economics, it took the top position of all German universities together with the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main.
January 2020
Reaccreditation of
ZU quality assurance system
Reaccreditation of the ZU quality assurance system for studies and teaching
The ZU has received the so-called system reaccreditation for its quality assurance system in studies and teaching from the Accreditation Council, as the first university in Germany to do so within the accreditation system according to the new legal situation. This was preceded by a multi-stage intensive checking of processes within the field of studies and teaching at the ZU.
December 2019
ZU receives subsidy
from the
German Federal Ministry of Economics
ZU receives subsidy from the German Federal Ministry of Economics
The ZU has received an award as part of the “EXIST-Potentiale” competition held by the German Federal Ministry of Economics. This is linked to a subsidy of around one million euros for the founding and innovation center PioneerPort at the ZU. A total of 220 universities and colleges took part in the competition.
October 2019
Expansion of
Academic Advisory Board
Expansion of Academic Advisory Board
Zeppelin University (ZU) has expanded its Academic Advisory Board. In future, it will consist of six instead of three nationally and internationally renowned scientists.
May 2018
Extension of the right
to award doctorates
Extension of the right to award doctorates
Zeppelin Universität (ZU) has been granted an extension of its right to award doctorates for five years until June 30, 2023 by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg (MWK). At the same time, state recognition by the state was also extended for five years until June 30, 2023.
April 2018
ZF Campus
awarded the German
University Construction Prize
ZF Campus awarded the German University Construction Prize
Zeppelin University (ZU) celebrated the award of two prestigious construction prizes for its ZF Campus at ZU with a ceremony. The conversion and extension of the former barracks area in Fallenbrunnen 3 by the Berlin architects Professor Paul Grundei and Professor Dipl.-Ing. Stephanie Kaindl was recently awarded the German Architecture Museum (DAM) as one of four outstanding new buildings in Germany in the context of the DAM Prize for Architecture in Germany 2018 and was honored by the German University Foundation with the German University Construction Award 2018.
June 2017
Opening of the
start-up centre
Opening of the PioneerPort start-up centre
Zeppelin University (ZU) is setting up a start-up center on its SeeCampus. In the future, founders and researchers will find in the "PioneerPort" there a common place of ideas for innovations from companies in the region and student start-ups with impulses from science.
May 2017
Top position
Top position CHE ranking
Zeppelin University (ZU) has again achieved a top position among Germany's universities and colleges in the 2017/18 university ranking by the Center for Higher Education Development (CHE). In the area of bachelor and master programs in economics, it was among the top 3 of all German universities. In particular, the satisfaction with the overall study situation was rated as outstanding. ZU was also ranked in the top group of all German universities in the areas of overall course offerings, support at the beginning of studies, graduation within an appropriate period of time, and scientific publications.
September 2016
1200 students
1200 students
Zeppelin Universität (ZU) welcomed more than 250 new students at the beginning of the fall semester. It is now the 27th class to begin studying at ZU, bringing the total number of students to about 1200. While 197 freshmen have enrolled in the Bachelor and Master programs, 55 visiting students from 17 countries from the worldwide partner universities spend one or more semesters at ZU.
September 2015
New ZU campus
at summer party
New ZU campus inaugurated at summer party
With more than 1,500 guests, ZU has moved into the new main campus after more than two years of construction: At the now 12th summer festival and an open house. The visitors took the opportunity to get to know the new rooms during guided tours of the library, art and architecture, and to learn more about the student initiatives.
April 2015
Insa Sjurts new
president of ZU
Insa Sjurts new president of ZU
On April 1, 2015 Professor Dr. Insa Sjurts took office as the new President of ZU. Ms. Sjurts moved from the University of Hamburg and Hamburg Media School to Lake Constance.
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.
May 2014
ZF Campus
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
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
Ceremony ZF Campus
Ground-Breaking Ceremony ZF Campus
ZU is officially starting the construction and renovation works for its new ZF campus. Holding jackhammers, Prof. Dr. Stephan A. Jansen (President of ZU), Katja Völker, (executive board member of ZU), Andreas Brand (Lord Mayor of Friedrichshafen), and Dr. Stefan Sommer (ZF Chairman) symbolically give the go-ahead for the project in the former barracks area at No. 3 Fallenbrunnen. The building project is being made possible thanks to a donation of 20 million euro from ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
October 2012
ContainerUni Opening
ZU opens ContainerUni in Fallenbrunnen in October 2012. Until such time as ZU's new ZF Campus can be moved into, the ContainerUni will serve as temporary premises for students, teachers and employees. For this very reason the ideas and opinions of the ZU students were taken into account during the design phase. The 2,500 square meter space comprises eleven seminar rooms, sixty offices, an "Open Test House" for student activities and the ZU café "Mundvoll" ("Mouthful").
June 2012
20 Million
Donation by ZF
20 Million Donation from ZF
ZF Friedrichshafen AG donates a total of 20 million euro to the ZU Foundation. This is the largest single donation towards asset growth in the history of ZU. Through these methods, the foundation trust of the university is in a position to finance the expansion and renovation of the former barracks building at No. 3 Fallenbrunnen.
September 2011
Right to Award
Doctoral Degrees
Entitlement for awarding 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.
February 2011
Winner of
"Germany's Most
Committed University"
Winner of "Germany's Most Committed University"
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. ZU's special commitment to society and its concept of "University Social Responsibility", which integrates social experience-based learning into its degree programs, are rewarded. With this, ZU assumes responsibility for the local community and makes a valuable contribution to the future of civil society.
January 2011
65 Partner
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.
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.
February 2010
100 Start-Ups
Launched by Students
Over hundred Start-Ups Launched by Students
With over one hundred Start-Ups launched by students – from inter-city bus company "" to organic cookie manufacturer "knusperreich" to social enterprise "Rock Your Life!" – ZU is among the best universities in Germany to get funding as an entrepreneur. To that end ZU brought Micro Equity GmbH (also known as "ZUME") into being. The university's own fund for entrepreneurs provides financing of up to 50,000 euro and in return gets a 10% stake in the company. Furthermore, ZUME aids them by means of a mentoring program.
October 2009
Opening of FAB 18
ZU Opens CreativeQuarter at No. 18 Fallenbrunnen
Seen as a stopgap solution until the completion of the new ZF campus in 2015, the 1,600 square meter space offers plenty of room for research, for learning, and for working. In the former barracks building, seminar rooms, project rooms, and offices sit side-by-side with art- and dance studios as well as a small cafeteria. With on-site accommodation, the development of this hitherto rather peripheral and infrastructurally underdeveloped area of Friedrichshafen is forging ahead.
February 2009
ZU is the first ever private college in the south of Germany to achieve accreditation by the German Council of Science and Humanities. The German Council of Science and Humanities grants institutional accreditation to ZU ZU is awarded this ultimate seal of approval in the German higher education landscape, thereby becoming the first private university in southern Germany to be successfully accredited by the German Council of Science and Humanities.
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.
January 2008
New Building at
Opening of the newly built LakeCampus
At the Seemooser Horn campus, in just over a year of construction, around 17 million euro was invested in the further development of the fast growing university. The university building was designed by Fritz Hack architects in Friedrichshafen. Spanning 3,400 square meters, this double-glazed, shimmering silver cube offers an abundance of space for research, study, teaching, working, and relaxing a foyer for big events, a lounge, a cafeteria, a library, as well as seminar- and office spaces.
December 2007
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 Zeppelin University Society (ZU|G) was founded in December 2006 with the aim of consolidating the university's strong position in the region as well as to ideologically and financially support and facilitate the countless creative ideas of the students. Its members are friends and sponsors of the university and are comprised of citizens, businesses, and institutions predominantly from the region.
June 2006
"Land of Ideas"
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.
May 2006
Opening of
"Public Management &
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.
November 2004
Citizens' University
"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.
September 2003
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.
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.


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More than 10,000 visitors attend the events of ZU each year – the infamous CitizensUniversity (BürgerUniversität), concerts, public lectures and much more.



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All employees of Zeppelin University at a glance.


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As an independent foundation university ZU finances itself by revenues of the Zeppelin foundation, tuition fees, research third-party funds, donations, sponsoring and services. Thus ZU stands on a solid financial basis.