The Free University of Berlin or Freie Universität Berlin is a public research university in Berlin, Germany. It is one of eleven elite German research universities in the German Universities Excellence Initiative and is consistently ranked among Germany's top ten universities overall, with particular strengths in political science and humanities. It is recognized as a leading university in the international university tables.
Freie Universität Berlin was founded on December 4, 1948, by students, scholars, and scientists with the support of the American allied forces and politicians in Berlin. The move was sparked by the persecution faced by students who took a critical eye of the system at the former Universität Unter den Linden, at that time located in the Soviet sector of the divided city. Students and academics wanted to be free to pursue their learning, teaching, and research activities at Freie Universität, without being subject to political influence.