Bard College Berlin News
Bard College Berlin receives institutional reaccreditation from the Wissenschaftsrat for a further 10 years
In its published report on the accreditation application and site visit, the external evaluators praised the quality of teaching, research and community life at the college, and noted the significant developments in the acquisition of research funding and infrastructural expansion since the first institutional accreditation process concluded in 2017.
The decision issued by the Wissenschaftsrat represents a significant milestone in the history of the college, which was first founded in 1999 amid debates about the future of German higher education. Through the support of Julie J. Kidd and the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, the college achieved official recognition as a university from the federal state of Berlin in 2011. In that year, it also became affiliated with Bard College Annandale in the United States, which supported the further stages of the German accreditation process under the academic leadership of Dean Catherine Toal. The first degree programs were accredited in 2014 and 2015 respectively, and reaccredited in 2018 and 2020.
Since the awarding of state recognition in Berlin in 2011, the college has grown from 50 to over 300 students, and to a faculty of 30 professors and academic staff with a record of excellence in teaching and research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. The campus, housed in a number of former embassies in northeast Berlin, now includes several new architecturally award-winning buildings, as well as studio art and performance spaces.
All accreditation assessments to date have noted the unique status of Bard College Berlin in the German higher-education landscape: as a private, non-profit university dedicated to the arts and humanities; a college devoted to undergraduate teaching with faculty internationally renowned for research and artistic activity; an exemplar of the original German ideal of liberal-arts education revivified in the postwar United States; an academic institution that provides practical support for students in their everyday lives.
In parallel with the achievement of German institutional reaccreditation, the college has strengthened the internationality that was already a notable feature at its founding. Students from over 60 different countries are currently enrolled. The institution makes a considerable contribution to the efforts of German civil society in offering refuge and opportunity for people displaced by war and crisis, through scholarship initiatives for students from Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.
Above all, Bard College Berlin maintains the central principles and advantages of liberal arts education within the German university system: an exploration of a wide range of fields of knowledge and artistic endeavor alongside specialization; the idea of a “core” or shared element in the curriculum which teaches not only significant works and traditions but approaches to these cultural legacies; small-group seminar teaching and academic advising by professors; a commitment to the public good and the cultivation of informed debate through the pursuit of scholarship. Within the framework of these ideals, which it shares with Bard College Annandale, Bard College Berlin brings to the Berlin context Annandale’s long-established identification with the fundamental value of civic engagement as an aspect of higher-educational experience and the mission of the university.
Since the first institutional accreditation in 2017, Bard College Berlin has greatly extended its global affiliations, with partner universities for student and faculty exchange through the Erasmus program, and through its membership of the Open Society University Network headed by Bard Annandale. It has been enormously assisted in its progress toward the present reaccreditation through the support of its Board of Governors (first convened in 2015), chaired by Kimberly Marteau Emerson.
Post Date: 12-21-2022