When Herzog Christian-Albrecht von Holstein-Gottorf decided to found a university in 1665, the devastating Thirty Years' War was not long over. The university to which the duke gave his name was the a response to his country's need for well-educated young men able to serve the state. 140 students enrolled in the faculties of Theology, Law, Medicine and Philosophy initially established.
Just as the body of students attending the CAU has increased to over 20,000, so the range of subjects offered has long been extended to include economics, the natural sciences, agriculture, engineering, and science of education. In the former workplace of Max Planck and Heinrich Hertz, a teaching staff of 600 passes on its knowledge to students from Germany and more than a hundred other countries.
Kiel is well aware of its special role as the only university in Schleswig-Holstein offering a spectrum of subjects sufficiently wide to serve the requirements of school-leavers in the region seeking university education within their own federal state. At the same time, its clear academic profile and areas of specialization reflect a determination to accept the challenge of national and international competition among universities.