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Mission Statement

Issued by the Senate on 15 May 2019.


The University of Basel was founded in 1460, modeled on the universities of Bologna and Paris in the context of European humanism. It is the oldest university in Switzerland and one of the oldest in Europe. Throughout its long history, the university has adapted to new conditions time and time again, but it has also initiated its own developments, reflecting and driving change in society, business and culture. Since its earliest days, the university has been a place of cultural reflection, distinguished by its broad range of academic disciplines. It has maintained this tradition to the present day to become one of the most successful international universities.


Our university has been educating young, talented people from Switzerland and abroad since 1460. Through the centuries, it has contributed to the creation and transfer of new knowledge and is today considered one of the best research universities in the world.

As a profiled and comprehensive university with strong faculties, we offer humanities and social sciences as well as natural sciences, with a clear focus on life sciences and medicine. The diversity of our scientific faculties allows us to tackle the complex problems of our time from disciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives, thereby making a significant contribution to societal development.

A large part of our funding comes from the supporting cantons Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, as well as from the federal government and other cantons; our reputation also helps us to attract high levels of external funding. We enjoy a high degree of autonomy, which we use successfully in our development. We have strong regional roots yet are well connected internationally. We collaborate closely with other leading universities and research facilities as well as with numerous institutions representing society, business and culture.

Teaching is based on the latest research results and is delivered by high-level researchers. It is characterized by disciplinary breadth and cultural variety, and it employs a combination of proven, modern didactic methods. We take our students on an intellectual journey of discovery and help them to recognize their talents so they can apply them both to their own lives and for the benefit of society. We encourage our students to critically scrutinize statements and outcomes to provide a foundation for new insights. After graduation, their personal and intellectually formative connection with the university continues; as alumni, they represent an indispensable network for the university.

As a research university, we conduct research at the highest international level and attract outstanding researchers and students from all over the world. We support the research activities of our scientific staff and engage in targeted development of young academics. While our focus is on basic research, we also undertake applied and clinical research and support the innovation and entrepreneurial activities of our university members.

Our university guarantees unrestricted freedom of teaching and research. We act responsibly, with respect for resources and a commitment to sustainability. Recognizing and fostering diversity and equal opportunities are anchored as guiding principles and integral components of university life. Both within the university and when dealing with our partners, we maintain a culture of dialog, appreciation, respect and tolerance.

As an employer, we offer our staff attractive working conditions and promote them in a performance-based environment. The university administration is professional and efficient. As a central service provider, it ensures the best possible conditions for study, teaching and research within the university. We are committed to responsible leadership and an organizational culture with clear roles and responsibilities. At the same time, we follow the principle of subsidiarity and see ourselves as a learning organization.


Our goal is to remain one of the best research universities worldwide and to make important contributions to research and social development through scientific knowledge and innovation. As a distinguished university, our innovation derives from the combination of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, and close interaction with our public and scientific environment. We consistently align our research-based teaching with the latest requirements in order to successfully support our students on their personal and professional path.

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