The University of Paderborn was initially founded in 1614 but was shuttered in 1819 due to financial concerns. Over 150 years later, in 1972, its doors reopened during the great renaissance of German university construction in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Since that time, the University has found a place as both a regional growth engine, helping to ensure the continuing economic success of the Paderborn-Lippstadt region, and an international destination for students interested especially in the information sciences, of which Uni Paderborn has become a leader over the past few decades, achieving a consistent ranking in the top three programs in the yearly CHE rankings of German academic programs. It currently enrolls nearly 20,000 students on its campus a short distance outside of the city center.
Uni Paderborn has several services beyond its traditional academic offerings. The most important for international students is their language preparation courses, which it offers to all students regardless of their prior knowledge of the language. Participants do have to pay fees for these courses, but they allow students without a background in German the opportunity to study either at Uni Paderborn or another university in the country.
The University also offers what one might call an "American-style" campus experience. Unlike many German universities, the main campus, where nearly all academics departments, dormitories, and student resources are located, can be found a short bus ride outside of the city center. Students tend to stick to campus, which features several student bars (yes, serving beer), theaters, and a gym.