In the name and spirit of Voltaire

In the name and spirit of Voltaire picture

In the name and spirit of Voltaire

Annually, the University of Potsdam bestows the prestigious “Voltaire Prize for Tolerance, International Understanding, and Respect for Differences” to young researchers.

With the Voltaire Prize, the University of Potsdam (UP) seeks to honour a young scholar each year who has significantly contributed to the societal discourse on peace, international understanding, and tolerance or has actively championed freedom in research and teaching, as well as the right to free expression. 

Enlightenment pioneer

Named after the eminent French philosopher François Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778), a key figure of the Enlightenment, the prize commemorates his ground-breaking influence. Voltaire's outspoken critiques of absolutism, feudalism, and the Catholic Church positioned him as a trailblazer for the French Revolution. 

On the global stage, the University of Potsdam positions itself among research and teaching collaborators as an institution deeply connected to the Enlightenment principles of Voltaire and La Mettrie, alongside nineteenth-century advancements in the natural sciences.  


Integration into international networks is a pivotal element of the university's comprehensive strategy, enhancing the overall quality and competitiveness of research, study, and teaching endeavours.  

Concurrently, the execution of the internationalization strategy aims to foster cosmopolitanism, encourage intercultural exchange, and cultivate a culture of hospitality.