Outstanding researchers are found at the cutting edge of their field – and consequently in Saarland. Saarland University is unique in having a cluster of excellence and an IT post-graduate college. In addition to this, other leading organisations in IT research include the Center for IT Security, Privacy and Accountability (CISPA), the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, and the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). The universities are also very successful at setting up spin-off companies.
The cutting edge of science
Research in Saarland It involves a wealth of ideas within a very compact area. Saarland has a very good research and teaching reputation in relation to IT, healthcare and medical technology, research into medicines and active ingredients, and nanotechnology and biotechnology, and also materials science, mechatronics, and automotive and supplier technology – not to mention the humanities.
Three other universities in Saarbrücken provide high-quality courses: htw saar (the Saarland University of Applied Sciences), HBKsaar (Saarland University of Art and Design), and HfM Saar (the Saarland University of Music). The DHfPG (German University for Health Promotion and Management) in Saarbrücken is an especially important provider of sandwich courses and advanced vocational training, and it has 10 study centres throughout Germany. The Fachhochschule für Verwaltung (Administration College) (FHSV) and three vocational academies, the University of Cooperative Education (ASW) at Neunkirchen, the Saarland Health and Social Service Academy (BA GSS), and the University of Cooperative Education (ISBA) in Saarbrücken round off the institutions offering sandwich courses.
Science and the economy on the same wavelength
The non-university research institutions are of huge importance to Saarland as an innovation hub. Like the universities, they are recognised around the world and are proven catalysts of economic and technological structural change, and of the technology transfer that this requires. Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering, the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing and the Leibniz Institute for New Materials, the region has renowned higher education institutes which actively undertake work ranging from basic to applied research and the development of prototypes. The institutes' main focuses are reflected in the range of universities with which they work in close cooperation. In recent years the newly established Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) and the Mechatronics and Automation Technology Centre (ZeMA) have brought additional researchers to the state.
International courses of study open up new horizons
As at July 2017, Saarland's universities offer 53 bi- or tri-national study courses – 29 are offered at universities and 24 at htw saar – with the aim of deepening relationships with France and Luxembourg in particular. In addition, in Saarland it's possible to gain a French law degree while also studying German law. This is unique in Germany. The Deutsch-Französisches Hochschulinstitut (German-French University Institute of Technology And Economics) (DFHI-ISFATES) was founded in 1978 as a joint institution run by htw saar in Saarbrücken and the Université de Lorraine in Metz. It is consequently the oldest, and so far the largest, cooperative university offering fully integrated courses of study – and it paved the way for the German-French University based in Saarland.