Over the centuries, Central Hessen has been greatly shaped by an academic landscape of international standing. Alongside the comprehensive universities of Marburg and Giessen, both characterised by a history of over 400 years and to some extent unique profiles, the region is home to the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences, one of the largest technical universities in Germany with an excellent engineering profile.
A particular feature of the Central Hessian academic landscape is the traditionally high degree of cooperation between the three institutions:
In 1991, the three universities founded the joint Transfer Centre of Central Hessen, the largest - and at the time unique - in Germany. The second joint spin-off was TransMIT GmbH, which is now one of the most successful patent exploitation agencies in Germany and whose services are also much in demand by many institutions beyond the region.
In 2005, the network between the two universities in Marburg and Giessen alongside the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences formerly Fachhochschule Giessen-Friedberg) was made official in a comprehensive Cooperation Contract still valid today. The cooperation embracing the different forms of higher educational establishments in this contract relates primarily to large research projects, study programmes and further training as well as the promotion of early-career researchers.
In 2012, the two universities in Marburg and Giessen founded a research alliance in order to promote top university research in Central Hessen. This research alliance has culminated in the Research Campus of Central Hessen.
2 November 2016 marks the founding of the Research Campus of Central Hessen as a long-term strategic alliance of the Central Hessian universities and their partners for the continuation and consolidation of cooperation and networking in Central Hessen.