The Centre for Higher Education (CHE) has been publishing rankings of German universities since 1998. The latest edition, which was published recently in cooperation with Die Zeit newspaper, does not provide an overall rank or a composite score but compares departments in140 universities in Germany and Austria and over “250 universities of applied sciences and vocational academies.”
Universities are assigned to upper, middle, and lower groups for a variety of criteria, including responses to a survey by 120,000 students and 3,000 professors. There are strict procedures concerning the inclusion of small departments with only a few survey responses and data is rejected if the confidence interval is too broad.
The ranking provides data for 40 subjects and users can select criteria and create their own individualised rankings. It is also possible to focus on university towns and review data about universities and subjects in a specific location.
There are eight modules each of which contain several metrics: Job market and career orientation, Equipment, Research, International orientation, Result of study, Town and university, Students, and Academic studies and teaching.
Here are two examples of how the CHE ranking might be used.
Someone who wanted to look for research capability in in Economics could select four research criteria: Third-party funds per academic, Research reputation, Publications per professor, Doctorates per professor.
Of the universities ranked none is in the top group for all four metrics. There are, however, three, the University of Gottingen, LMU Munich and the University of Mannheim, that are in the top group for three metrics.
If a user selected Physics and chose six criteria related to academic study and teaching, there would be three universities in the top group for all six: The University of Duisberg-Essen, the University of Rostock, and the University of Jena.
The CHE ranking has been awarded an IREG Seal of Approval.