I initially learned about them through the WIRED Magazine, after which I looked them up and kept an eye on them. I applied to them while applying to other universities. The application process they send you through is actually exciting in and of itself and I can only talk about this in a limited amount. The last part, however, is basically a 24-hour long Hackathon with other applicants which was the point that sold me.
I can see that jumping onto a project like this is risky, especially since it's a new university and especially since it's their first semester. However, I am willing to take that risk for the following reason: Even if the university fails to deliver on what they promised, it connects me with incredibly talented people who - like me - were willing to take that risk. So even if this derails I at least have this network, and I wager that this network plus some elbow grease is all I'd need to get somewhere.
Additionally, to this, the staff absolutely and completely believes in this project; as does the land government of NRW, as they already plan to basically mirror CODE, and initially fought to have CODE stationed in Cologne. There is a huge amount of support coming from the Berlin Founder Scene as well; they are also partnered with the Factory Berlin and their campus will be at the new Factory building. All-in-all I am pretty optimistic about the outcome of this.
I come from a small-ish city near Brunswick, called Helmstedt. Nowadays it's pretty unimportant. It used to be a border town back before the German reunification. And even before that, it used to have a university. Although that closed its doors in 1810. So nowadays, while still being its own county, it's slowly drifting into oblivion. In the past, there have been multiple talks about the fusion of Helmstedt and surrounding counties, most notably Wolfsburg.