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History of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

1990 – 1999

The history of today's University of Applied Sciences Potsdam begins with its founding in 1991. The first students can be enrolled in the social work department (at the then location in Neufahrland). The move into the former Institute for teacher education on Friedrich-Ebert-Straße follows. With the appointment of Prof. Dr. Helmut Knüppel as founding rector and the constitution of the founding senate, the FHP begins its work.

Only one year later, the first students are welcomed to the departments of architecture, design, civil engineering and archive-library-documentation. In 1993, Volker Bley was appointed chancellor of the university, the Fördergesellschaft of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam was founded and the provisional constitution of the university was adopted.

With the move of the architecture, civil engineering and design department to today's Kiepenheuerallee campus and the founding of the Institut für Fortbildung, Forschung und Entwicklung e. V. (Institute for Continuing Education, Research and Development) in 1994, the first departments moved to the location where all departments of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam will be located by 2017. In the following year, the university management and administration moved to the new location and the model degree programme in cultural work and restoration began.

In 1999, the opening of the international meeting centre for the sciences Potsdam was celebrated on the campus.

2000 – 2009

With the beginning of the new millennium, the range of courses offered at the University of Applied Sciences continued to grow: the model course european media studies was added. In addition, the model course in cultural work was consolidated and the interdisciplinary event series "Civitas" was introduced. This was followed by the adoption of the FHP's development concept.

When professor Dr. Helene Kleine took over the rectorship in 2001, the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam could already celebrate its 10th anniversary. This year also saw the founding of the Brandenburg Institute for Business Start-ups and Promotion of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (BIEM), and one year later that of the Further Education Unit (ZEW). 2002 also saw the launch of the "BEGiN - BrandenburgerExistenzGründungsINitiative" programme.

2003 then saw the final report of the external evaluation of all degree programmes by ZEvA and the opening of the laboratory and workshop building. This was followed by the introduction of the bachelor's and master's degrees in the architecture and urban design and the master's degree in the design and european media studies degree programmes. And a number of new degree programmes were launched: Interface design and metal conservation, the distance learning programme in social work and the master's degree in building conservation (2004), and the bachelor's degree in early childhood education in 2005. The same year saw the opening of the room for children as a way for students to offer day care for children on campus. The IID – Institute for Information and Documentation receives a quality seal.

In 2006, the foundation stone is laid for the main building on the Kiepenheuerallee campus. The degree programme in interface design receives an award as a landmark in the land of ideas and APPLAUS, the presentation of Potsdam final theses from the design department, is launched. In addition, the consecutive master's programme in social work, with a focus on the family, is launched. The FHP also celebrates 10 years of the wood construction conference Berlin/Brandenburg and the founding of BIEM as a state-wide association.

2007 sees a change at the top: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Vielhaber takes over as rector. The topping-out ceremony of the main building is celebrated, as well as 10 years of parent counselling "From Infant to Toddler" and the Uzbek-German summer academy for the preservation of architectural monuments. The adoption of the university's structural development plan "StEP 2015" in the following year as well as the university's distinction as a "place for families" make us proud. In addition, the master's programme in building research is launched and enables research in architecture, civil engineering or restoration.

In 2009, the new main building opens on the Kiepenheuerallee campus. The University of Applied Sciences Potsdam receives an award in the "Excellent Teaching" competition. And once again a degree programme is launched. This time it is the master's programme in archival sciences.

2010 – 2019

The new decade begins with the transfer of the right of appointment to the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. In addition, the innovation college is founded and the InterFlex programme to promote excellence in teaching is launched, as well as the master's programme in information sciences one year later. There is also another reason to celebrate:  The university looked back on its 20th anniversary with a week of festivities.

2013 saw a change at the top of the university management: Prof. Dr Eckehard Binas took over as president. In the same year, the Uzbek-German master's programme for building preservation and monument conservation opened in Tashkent and the FHP won the MOOC competition with "The Future of Storytelling". The office of the student vice-president is introduced. The bachelor's and master's degree programmes in conservation and restoration are added to the programme portfolio.

The design of the research window in the Bildungsforum Potsdam by FHP students and the opening of the new seminar building House D are two highlights in 2014. In addition, the promotion of research at the FHP is being strengthened through research professorships.

In 2016, the master's programme childhood studies and children's rights will start in cooperation with the University of Potsdam. The establishment of the research-oriented degree programme urban futures is a response to the challenges of sustainable urban development. On 23 November 2016, the FHP celebrated its 25th anniversary with a ceremony on the campus at Kiepenheuerallee.

With the relocation of the information and social and educational sciences in 2017, the campus on Kiepenheuerallee is complete. House A and the renovated House 17 (Casino) are opened. The master's programme in social management starts.

As many as three dual, practice-integrating bachelor's degree programmes are available at the FHP from 2018 – Civil engineering (full-time and dual), infrastructure systems (full-time and dual) and urban water management (dual). The information centre for information science and practice was closed on 31.12.2018. The INFODATA database has been continued by WTI Frankfurt since 01.01.2019.

In 2019, Prof. Dr Eva Schmitt-Rodermund takes over as president. In addition, the master's programme in digital data management will be introduced.

Presidents and chancellors of the university


Prof. Dr Eva Schmitt-Rodermund
Term of office: 01/01/2019 – 31/12/2024

Prof. Dr. Eckehard Binas
Term of office: 01/01/2013 – 31/12/2018

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Vielhaber
Term of office: 01/01/2007 – 31/12/2012

Prof. Dr. Helene Kleine
Term of office: 01/01/2001 – 31/12/2006

Prof. Dr. Helmut Knüppel
Founding Rector
Term of office: 17/12/1991 – 31/12/2000


Gerlinde Reich
Terms of office: 01/03/2012 – 28/02/2018,
                            01/03/2018 – 28/02/2024

Rainald Wurzer
Acting chancellor
Term of office: 01/12/2008 – 28/02/2012

Volker Bley
Term of office: 01/04/1993 – 31/03/2011