Who finances Zeppelin University? First of all: not the taxpayers. Zeppelin University is the first - and so far only - private foundation university in Germany to receive no direct funding by the state or the federation. And this is the way it should stay.
As an independent foundation university ZU is supported by the ZU-Foundation and finances itself solely by means of donations and sponsoring, revenues of the foundation assets, as well as tuition fees, competitively gained research third-party funds, and the revenues of academic services. So far, more than 600 medium-sized and large companies, as well as private citizens, have contributed to setting up and expanding ZU by donations and sponsoring.
The structural costs of Zeppelin University are always pre-financed for eight years by a rolling prolongation system arranged with the initiators and sponsors, the Zeppelin Foundation, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and Zeppelin GmbH. Thus, Zeppelin University fulfils all the requirements of the state and guarantees reliability for students, staff, and sponsors.
To put it quite clearly: Our financing philosophy means that ZU would simply not exist without the support of private donors. Other institutions consider private donations a welcome additional income; for us they are vital. A risk? Yes, in so far as entrepreneurship is always a risk. But most of all a world full of possibilities. For setting up a university together with visionary sponsors primarily means realizing a great vision: To start something completely novel and to boldly change reality. Every one of our sponsors is thus part of a success story that has only just begun.
The core of ZU´s strategy - with a certain quiet smile and a bow - is called "Humboldt 2.0". That way we describe the attempt to reach a unity of teaching, research, and academic services (continuing education, consulting, providing of expertise opinions, etc). Thus, research is to be an impulse for teaching and services and to become visible in both of them, and vice versa services are to be seen in teaching and to facilitate the collection of primary data for research.
This is only possible if interdisciplinarity is lived in a very specific way - as the general orientation of the university as a whole towards concrete problems of society - problems that are not exclusively economic or political or cultural.
Whenever possible the profile of our activities is oriented as follows: research and teaching have the same importance, and consistent interdisciplinarity in the thematic focus means orientation towards problems of society and at the same time the problem solving competence in these areas.
The setting up of institutes and research positions, of chairs and assistant professorships, as well as of post-doctoral and doctoral positions is made possible by sponsors who consider the researching analysis of social, economic, political, or trans-sectoral issues just as important as the imparting of such topics to our students as future decision-makers in politics, business, and culture.
Tuition fees cover approximately one third of the total budget of Zeppelin University and thus are an essential part of the financing mix. The students take on responsibility for their own educational biography and - as a purely privately financed university - ZU is maximally independent.
To promote young talent we offer sponsors who value education a range of scholarship models which support students as an effective relief in financing their studies.
Endowed study places: The overall costs of a study place at Zeppelin University amount to approximately 25,000 Euro per year of studies. Financing a study place is much more than a "classical" scholarship system for tuition fees, as it also contributes to the basic financing of Zeppelin University. The duration of this commitment is possible from one year onwards.
Germany Scholarships: With 300 Euro per month, the Germany Scholarship supports both students and enrolling students whose careers so far promise an outstanding performance in their studies, as well as in their professional lives.
Individual Scholarship Programs: In addition to endowed study places and Germany Scholarships, individual scholarship programs can also be developed together with the sponsor.