Numbering almost 62,000 students, the University of Cologne, is one of the largest of the German universities. It is also one of the oldest: in 1988 it celebrated six hundred years of existence. The foundation of many other universities in late medieval Germany was due to the initiative of important-spiritual and temporal authorities, but in Cologne it was the citizens who established the university. Thus today the University of Cologne is still a "city university", and that in a double sense: founded by the citizens of Cologne and with a university campus not outside of but within the city itself. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the large economic and industrial Rhine/Ruhr area in the north and the city of Bonn in the south. Among students the University of Cologne is high on the national scale of popularity, as surveys have repeatedly shown.
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