Martin Teising

IPU President 2012 – 2018

My time as president of the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin from 2012 to 2018 was a pleasant and very moving time, during which I contributed intensively towards the formation of the IPU. Together with my colleagues on the university board, in the academic and administrative branches of the IPU, together with student representatives, the board of trustees, the board of directors, the academic advisory board, and many external partners, we pursued the goal of establishing scientifically-based psychoanalysis at a university level and of imparting to our students an understanding for the meaning of unconscious processes and conflicts in the individual, in familial and social relationships, as well as in societal processes.


During my time in office, the IPU grew in many ways. The number of students doubled—it grew to over 600. In the administration, departments for Study and Teaching, for IT and Communications, for the International Office and the library were established, and the outpatient clinic was expanded. In terms of professorships, we reached the required number for granting doctorate degrees of 18 full-time equivalent professors and have been able to increase the rate of professorial teaching to over 50%. Thanks to the Foundation to Promote University Psychoanalysis, we were able to expand our midlevel teaching staff, grant doctoral scholarships, and provide professors with a small budget for their own use. Two IPU junior professors have acquired full professorships.

During these years, we were able to extend our field of research enormously. We developed a research profile, introduced regular research colloquia, and raised significant third-party funding from renowned research sponsors. We greatly expanded the IPU study opportunities as well. We introduced the study programs


Our Advanced Education program was created and expanded, and many conferences have taken place at IPU. In the interests of personnel development, administrative employees have been able to participate in the “Leadership and Counseling” program free of charge. Many have also advanced their knowledge of the English language. The study courses are accredited and some have been reaccredited, each with accolades, by the accreditation commission. The IPU has been institutionally accredited by the German Council of Science and Humanities and was confirmed as a Universität by the Berlin Senate.

Although we were critical of the CHE-Ranking with good reason, we performed extremely well, and despite our concerns, are proud of the result, especially since its external impact is not to be underestimated. Other high points that have helped our outreach were the annual participation in the Long Night of Science with the Berlin training institutes, collaborations with schools, Information Sessions, and our graduation celebrations, as well as a very active internet presence, an Image Film, and a wide array of informative literature.

We have made contracts with 27 European Partner universities through the ERASMUS program, which allow for regular exchanges for students, employees, and professors with other European universities. We created a first-rate International Advisory Board, and the IPU has been supported in many ways by the DAAD. We also established an international summer school program. For me personally, the collaboration and student exchange with Hebrew University in Jerusalem was particularly impressive. We became a member of Scholar at Risk, which is an organization that supports persecuted scholars. In this context, we were able to offer academic asylum to one of our colleagues. Together, colleagues and students have become involved with refugee work. We have had the opportunity to work with the Berlin Senate, the State Office for Health and Social Affairs, and the Berlin training institutes in a confident manner.

Through funding from the Karl Schlecht Foundation, we were able to establish the Erich Fromm Study Center (EFSC) with an Erich Fromm Foundation Professor at its center. To support our students, we have raised funds for many Germany Scholarships. A collaboration with the Chancen EG has also made it possible for our students to study now and pay their fees later in the form of a reverse generational contract.

A uni culture has developed that includes music events, parties, a choir, a theater group, and even a dance course. A highlight was the party for our institutional accreditation in the “Bar jeder Vernunft”.

During my presidency, we acquired the rooms in the fourth floor of Stromstrasse 1, and the ground floor and first floor of Stromstrasse 3b. With this we were able to significantly expand our outpatient clinic and library. Through international contacts, we have been lucky enough to acquire many treasures for our library. Together with the students, we built the cafeteria and set up a lighted sign on our building’s external facade.

Norbert Matejek has given us his couch caricatures as a permanent loan. They decorate the third floor corridor and are admired in amusement by many guests entering the large lecture hall. Some colleagues even make use of them when teaching.

By the end of my time in office, we had submitted the application for institutional reaccreditation by the Council of Science and Humanities and applied for the right to award doctorates.

All of these things would have been impossible without the dedicated cooperation of all colleagues at IPU, and I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to them. The IPU has become an important part of my life and will remain so. If I am needed in the future, I will be happy to offer my help.