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 21 official partners



UQ has partnered with Germany-based researchers on more than 1,440 co-publications in the past 5 years. The top research areas include genetics and heredity, neurosciencesbiochemistry and molecular biologyecology, and environmental sciences. Our top co-publishing partners are the Hemholtz Association, Max Planck Society, and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

Research collaboration

UQ has collaborated with 47 German institutions on more than 80 UQ research projects in the past 5 years. The top collaborating research partners include the Helmholtz Association, the Max Planck Society, and the University of Leipzig, covering a range of research topics such as quantum systems, aerospace materials, hypersonics, pharmacology, environmental management, metals, and biology.

Research funding

In the past 5 years, 24 UQ research projects have been funded by German organisations, including Boehringer Ingelheim InternationalAurubis, the German international development agency GIZSiemens, and the International Paralympic Committee.

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 wtih 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.

Understanding the brain

As part of global efforts to explore how the brain works, researchers at UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) have formally partnered with the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich’s (LMU’s) Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences (GSN). The partnership has lead to researchers sharing ideas, sourcing competitive funding, and co-organising seminars to collectively address universal health issues. GSN has a strong reputation in the field of neuroscience, and UQ is proud to be on its list of carefully selected partners alongside the Bernstein Center for Computational Neurosciences Munich; the Max Planck Institutes; the Helmholtz Centre Munich, and international leaders such as Harvard.

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, after Norwegian students. In the past 5 years, 350 German students enrolled in UQ degrees. PhD studies, Master of Business, and Master of Laws are 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 6th most popular country for student exchange at UQ. We have agreements with 12 universities in Germany, including the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich (LMU), and Humboldt University of Berlin. In the past 5 years, 150 UQ students studied in Germany and 148 German students studied at UQ under these agreements.

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 7thInternational 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 1,340 alumni live in Germany, and 2,288 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 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)

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Fast facts based on 2016 full year data.