UQ and Germany

Leading-edge research collaboration

Home to hundreds of German students and academic staff, an extensive cultural program, and a thriving social club, German culture is alive and well on UQ campuses. Through a strategic alliance with the Technical University of Munich, and collaboration with the Helmholtz Association and the Max Planck Society, groundbreaking discoveries have never looked more promising for both nations.

Fast facts


German students enrolled at UQ


Germany-UQ co-publications


academic staff born in Germany


research project collaborations


alumni in Germany


agreements with 15 official partners

Fast facts show full-year 2018 data.



UQ has partnered with Germany-based researchers on more than 2270 co-publications in the past 5 years. The top research areas include genetics and heredity, neurosciences, and multidisciplinary sciences. Our top co-publishing partners are the Hemholtz Association, Max Planck Society, and University of Leipzig.

Research collaboration

In the past 5 years, UQ has collaborated with 37 institutions on 64 research projects,  covering topics such as novel pain therapeutics, managing epilepsy, and preventing tick-borne diseases. Key collaborators include the Helmholtz Research Centres and Max Planck Institutes.

Research funding

German organisations, including Boehringer Ingelheim, the International Paralympic Committee, and Aurubis AG have contributed nearly A$3.6 million towards 35 research projects in the past 5 years. Projects seek to classify Paralympic sport, save energy and resources through sustainable copper metallurgy and recycling, and understand how humans interacted with their environment in ancient Africa.

Collaboration in action

Pioneering the next generation of painkillers

UQ has a strong history of collaboration with German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim International in cutting-edge pain research. Led by UQ's Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development (CIPDD) Director Professor Maree Smith, a multidisciplinary team recently finished investigating novel compounds that could help relieve chronic pain. The drug, pioneered by Professor Smith and called EMA401, has minimal central nervous system side effects and is expected to be worth more than USD 35 billion. Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company founded by UniQuest to commercialise the drug, has attracted a multi-million-dollar deal, one of the largest in Australian biotech history.

Fuelling the new energy revolution

UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) is harnessing the power of the sun to produce a wide range of hydrogen-, methane-, and oil-based alternative energy fuels. Located in Pinjarra Hills, Brisbane, UQ's new Centre for Solar Biotechnology has been developed in partnership with the Queensland Government, Siemens (Germany), Bielefeld University (Germany), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), KBR Inc (USA), Neste Oil Corp (Finland), and Cement Australia. Led by Munich-born Professor Ben Hankamer (pictured, right), the Centre brings together 30 multidisciplinary teams to fast-track the next generation of microalgae biotechnologies and bio-inspired artificial solar fuel technologies.

Queensland: Biofuels hub of Asia-Pacifc

UQ's School of Agriculture and Food Sciences has established an Algae Energy Farm to cultivate and harvest microalgae for a range of uses, including as a feed supplement for beef cattle. Professor Peer Schenk – a University of Göttingen alumnus – leads the prototype demonstration farm, which shows algae can be grown easily in Australian conditions, leveraging feed and fuel, and without competing for arable land needed for food production. The technology is farm-ready and can use virtually any type of water, which makes it a cost-effective way to produce feed and fuel year-round. The off-grid farm can produce around 50 tonnes of algae biomass and more than 12,000 litres of biodiesel per hectare a year.

Shaking up the bioeconomy

UQ is rapidly expanding collaboration with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and São Paulo State University (Unesp) Brazil in biotechnology and its impact on future economies. The three universities are founding members of the Global Bioeconomy Alliance – a new initiative to develop the production and use of biological resources to provide products, processes and services within the frame of a sustainable economic system. The network aims to establish a more competitive, innovative, energy-secure and sustainable world by combining agricultural, technical and social aspects of bio-based industry and society. Through collaborating with a growing network of researchers worldwide, the Alliance will develop holistic strategies to boost the global bioeconomy.

Raising the profile of disability in sport

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Classification Research and Development Centre launched at UQ in 2013 – 1 of only 3 in world established to enhance sport-specific classification in Paralympic sport. Funded by the Bonn-based IPC, and housed at UQ’s School of Human Movement Studies (HMS), the Australian-first is a hub of classification research for persons with a physical impairment, serving as a place to exchange ideas, knowledge, experience, and expertise. HMS student Brenden Hall won gold, silver, and bronze medals at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, and other UQ-affiliated athletes claimed an additional three medals from the games, putting HMS on the international sporting map.

UQ and the Technical University of Munich

Since formalising a partnership in 2011, UQ has rapidly expanded collaboration with the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Agreements include staff mobility initiatives, joint symposia in both Germany and Queensland, visiting professorships, internships, and research exchange agreements. UQ's Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, for example, has a linked degree program with TUM where students can graduate with the integrated Bachelor of Engineering/Master of Engineering from UQ and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from TUM. The TUM and UQ graduate schools have also signed a research exchange agreement to improve student access to a variety of career development programs.

German students at UQ

Germany is among the top 20 countries of origin for UQ students and German students make up the 2nd largest cohort of Europeans studying at UQ. In the past 5 years, 390 German students have been enrolled in UQ degrees. Study AbroadPhD studies and the Master of Business popular program choices. 

The UQ German Club offers opportunities for students to socialise, learn about and promote German cultures, and build community. All students, German and non-German, are invited to join in.

Image: UQ German Club stall at UQ Open Day

Person at market stall with German flags

German culture at UQ


German is one of the most widely spoken languages on earth, and a major community language in Australia. At UQ, students can study German through the School of Languages and Cultures, which offers more than 15 German language courses. Students study the country’s history, politics, cultures and society while developing spoken and written languages skills from a wide range of authentic, contemporary sources. 

The Institute of Modern Languages (IML) at UQ also offers German courses for the wider community.

Video: What to expect while studying German at UQ, and where graduates can go.

Student mobility

Student exchange

Germany is the 4th most popular country for student exchange at UQ. We have agreements with 11 universities in Germany, including the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Humboldt University of Berlin, Technical University of Berlin, and University of Mannheim. 

Munich partnership advances biomedical science

The Faculty of Medicine has a student exchange partnership with LMU, enabling LMU students to complete 4 months clinical and research training at UQ. Since 2012, UQ has welcomed 15 LMU students. LMU has a strong history of association with UQ, being one of 4 international participants in the 7th International Postgraduate Symposium in Biomedical Sciences, held at UQ in late 2016. The symposium showcased advanced biomedical science developments from UQ, LMU, the University of Oxford (UK), and Pierre and Marie Curie University (France).

Master of Engineering with TUM

The Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology has a double-degree agreement with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) through membership in Top Industrial Managers for Europe. Students graduate with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from TUM and a Master of Engineering from UQ.

Global research degrees

UQ's research exchange programs can kickstart international collaborations for research higher degree students. Doctoral candidates from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), for example, can study part of their program at UQ – and vice versa.


More than 1430 alumni live in Germany and 2392 were born there. Alumni from or with significant links to the country include:

Professor Deborah Falla
Chair in Rehabilitation Science and Physiotherapy, University of Birmingham (Bachelor of Physiotherapy 1999; PhD 2003)
Professor Lena Daumann
Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry, LMU (PhD 2013)
Marie-Luise Ahlendorf
Club of Hamburg Partnerships and Communications Manager, and international relations leader (Bachelor of Social Science, Hons 2003)
Diplomat, Former Australian Ambassador to Germany (Bachelor of Arts, Hons 1975; Doctor of Letters honoris causa 2016)