In publica commoda

A Mission Statement for Georg-August-Universität Göttingen


IN PUBLICA COMMODA - FOR THE GOOD OF ALL reads the inscription on the Foundation Medal of Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Established in the age of the Enlightenment (1737) and committed to its critical spirit, the "Georgia Augusta" was one of Europe's first universities to abandon the supremacy of theology and achieve equality for all faculties. Emphasis on basic research and orientation towards source criticism and experimentation proved to be decisive preconditions for the development of the modern humanities and natural sciences, a development strongly influenced by the Georgia Augusta.

The history of Georg-August-Universität Göttingen has to this day been characterised by scholarly pragmatism and a sense of reality as well as keen awareness for science's societal responsibility. This tradition embraces the contributions of the "Göttinger Sieben" (1837) and those of Max Born, Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, who initiated the "Göttinger Erklärung" (1957) calling for the abandonment of nuclear weapons of every description. It is in this tradition that the Georgia Augusta today defines itself and its mission. Remembering the darkest chapter of its history during the period of National Socialism, the University is committed to utilising its strengths in shaping a humane, tolerant and peaceful world.


Georg-August-Universität Göttingen recognises its position within the scientific community where it stands together with the research universities of international significance. Within the areas of research and teaching, study and further education, the University's aims are

  • to preserve traditional perceptions discerningly, to render them usable and, by way of excellent teaching, to hand them on to future generations;
  • to gain new knowledge in all disciplines, also across and beyond conventional boundaries;
  • to enable all those studying at the University to act with responsibility in their scientific activities, as well as in all fields of cultural, political and economic life.

In its tradition as a leading University of the Enlightenment, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen is committed in its duty

  • to maintain the close alliance of research and teaching for their mutual stimulation;
  • to consider in critical reflection the political, social and commercial interests of the day;
  • in so doing, to preserve and defend the University's freedom in research and its independence in scientific teaching.

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen perceives itself as a font of innovation to enrich all spheres of life, regarding it as its task

  • to collaborate with other scientific institutions in research and teaching,
  • to publicise its research findings and promote their utilisation and
  • to contribute to the responsible development of its regional environment.

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

  • seeks to contribute to the realisation of equal opportunities and the overcoming of all gender-related, ethnic, cultural, social and religious disadvantages that oppose this;
  • is committed to ensuring strict observance of the ethical principles of good scientific practice;
  • informs the general public about the administering of its tasks and strives for open debate on the outcomes of its endeavours.

Aims and Means
On the basis of its achievements in research and teaching, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen seeks to heighten its international reputation by concentrating on its special strengths:

  • Internationality - enhancing its ability to attract scientists, scholars and students from abroad; expansion of international networks and partnerships for fostering research and young scientists
  • Research-based teaching and learning - development of research-related study programmes and occupationally-orientated training and further education courses, graduate schools, and junior research groups in which young scholars and scientists conduct independent research
  • Interdisciplinarity and diversity - intensifying the collaboration between the humanities and the social, natural and life sciences, and preservation of subject diversity in the interests of problem-solving to shape the future
  • Autonomy - strengthening the self-responsibility of the University as a Public Law Foundation, including also that of its boards, faculties and institutions
  • Cooperation with non-university institutions - extending and institutionalising the collaboration with appropriate research establishments in science, commerce and the community

Civil Clause

The University pledges its commitment to peace and justice in the world. The University and the academics working therein strive to serve peace in the world through research and teaching. In responsibility for society, they undertake to uphold in their actions the intrinsic ethical principles of science and scholarship.

Mission Statement, Göttingen, July 2006, supplemented by the Civil Clause adopted through resolution of the University Senate, 13 February, 2013