Historical dates


  • 7 March 1793
    Duke Peter Friedrich Ludwig (portrayed below) establishes a teacher training college (Lehrerseminar) in accordance with plans drawn up by General Superintendent Esdras Heinrich Mutzenbecher.

    Duke Peter Friedrich Ludwig von Oldenburg (1755 – 1829)


  • 26 March 1920
    The teacher training college becomes an institution of higher education. In 1926, the courses are replaced by Pädagogische Lehrgänge (two-year teacher training courses), which continue until the outbreak of war in 1939.

    The building constructed for teacher training in 1846


  • 1 October 1945
    The newly established Pedagogical Academy (Pädagogische Akademie) in Oldenburg, which would be renamed Pedagogical College (Pädagogische Hochschule) in 1948, is the first teacher training establishment to open its doors in any of the four occupied zones after the war.


  • 23 February 1959
    The Council of the City of Oldenburg calls on the government of Lower Saxony and the state parliament to establish a second state university in Oldenburg.


  • 25 August 1970
    The government of Lower Saxony resolves to found universities in Oldenburg and Osnabrück.


  • 1 March 1971 
    A founding committee is appointed in Oldenburg, the members of which consist of one third Professors, one third assistants and one third students.

    Panel discussion with members of the founding committee


  • 26 April 1972
    The University Society of Oldenburg (Universitätsgesellschaft Oldenburg e.V.) is established.


  • 5 December 1973
    The Act of 3 December 1973 by the Parliament of Lower Saxony on the organisation of the universities of Oldenburg and Osnabrück (Gesetz über die Organisation der Universitäten Oldenburg und Osnabrück) takes effect. The University of Oldenburg is established, with an integrated teacher training college. Study activities begin in April 1974, with eight degree courses and a pilot programme for ‘single-phase teacher training’, which continue until the early 1980s.


  • 29 May 1974
    The council unanimously adopts the founding order drawn up by the university’s founding committee, and is equally in favour of naming the university after Carl von Ossietzky. However, the state government rejects the name.

    Student protest: students affix the name to the wall of a building
  • 17 December 1974
    A cooperation agreement is signed between the University of Oldenburg and the Lower Saxony branch of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), the first agreement of its kind in the Federal Republic of Germany.


  • 17 April 1980
    The first cooperation agreement is signed with a foreign university, the University of Groningen.

    Jan Bleumink (Groningen) and Hans-Dietrich Raapke (Oldenburg) sign the cooperation agreement with Groningen.
  • 18 December 1980
    The ground is broken for the construction of an Energy Laboratory, symbolising the research area ‘Alternative sources of energy’.

    The Oldenburg Energy Laboratory, which covers its own energy requirements


  • 22 October 1985
    Courses in Information Technology begin, with 55


  • 30 May 1989
    The government of Lower Saxony gives the go-ahead for the expansion of marine research in Oldenburg, and the foundation of the ICBM (Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment).

    Biotechnica 1989: Science Minister Cassens and State Premier Albrecht at the ICBM stand


  • 12 December 1990
    Joint declaration by the Universities of Oldenburg and Bremen on the coordinated development of research and teaching activities, and the creation of a ‘north-west science region’.


  • 3 October 1991
    Official ceremony for naming the university after Carl vonOssietzky, attended by Gerhard Schröder, Premier of the State of Lower Saxony.

    Official naming ceremony: Gerhard Schröder with Rosalinde von Ossietzky-Palm, the daughter of Carl von Ossietzky


  • 29 January 1992
    The OFFIS Institution for Information Technology is inaugurated as an associate institution.


  • 8 February 1996
    The auditory centre (Hörzentrum) is founded as an associate institution, followed five years later by the establishment of the HörTech expertise centre, a non-profit organisation.

    Oldenburg’s House of Hearing (Haus des Hörens)


  • 13 October 1997
    The Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) institute for advanced study is inaugurated in Delmenhorst.

    The HWK: a research centre that attracts renowned scientists from all over the world


  • 14 November 2001 
    The Center for Distributed Learning (later known as C3L) is established, which combines further education programmes and E-learning projects.


  • 16 October 2002
    The Hanse Law School opens, a joint project between the universities of Oldenburg, Groningen and Bremen.


  • 1 August 2003
    Activities commence at the Center for Wind Energy Research (ForWind) – a joint institute of the universities of Oldenburg and Hannover (joined in 2009 by the University of Bremen).


  • 18 October 2004
    The university now offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes.


  • 28 February 2008
    Oldenburg is awarded the title ‘City of Science 2009’.

    City of Science programme


  • 13 August 2009
    The EWE Research Centre for energy technology NEXT ENERGY is inaugurated, an associate institute focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage.


  • 15 June 2012
    The University of Oldenburg’s Excellence Cluster application ‘Hearing4all’ is selected as one of the winners of the German Excellence Initiative. The University of Oldenburg is partnered in this project by the Hannover Medical School and the University of Hannover.

    Excellence Initiative: A great sense of achievement
  • 20 June 2012
    The Lower Saxony Act governing higher education (Niedersächsischen Hochschulgesetzes) is amended, creating a legal framework for the European Medical School Oldenburg-Groningen (EMS), and thereby also the preconditions for the foundation of a medical school at the University of Oldenburg.
  • 23 October 2012
    The European Medical School Oldenburg-Groningen (EMS) is officially launched, in the presence of Lower Saxony's State Premier David McAllister, who welcomes the first 40 students.
  • 28 November 2012
    Federal President Joachim Gauck presents the ‘German Future Prize’ to the hearing research team, consisting of Prof. Birger Kollmeier, Prof. Volker Hohmann (both from the University of Oldenburg's Hearing4all Excellence Cluster) and Dr Torsten Niederdränk (from Siemens AG). They have succeeded in vastly improving the technology used in hearing aids.


  • 7 September 2013
    The Karl Jaspers House is opened in Oldenburg's Dobbenviertel district. This villa houses the 12,000 books that comprised the private library of the famous Oldenburg psychiatrist and philosopher, and is the location of the German Karl Jaspers Society and the EWE Foundation.

    The Karl Jaspers House, which has two apartments for visiting researchers
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