German higher education institutions are excellent – and not just for research!
Higher education institutions show diversity in excellence: in research, relevance to practice, internationality and student orientation
German higher education institutions are not only capable researchers. If you look at relevance to practice, internationality and student orientation, it soon becomes clear that the strength of the German higher education system lies in diversity. This is the outcome of a special analysis of these four dimensions using data from the CHE UniversityRanking.
Few HEIs were top in all respects, but many HEIs are top performers because of their special profile: 71 out of 84 universities had a distinctive profile in at least one subject and in at least one of the dimensions analysed.
University Erlangen-Nürnberg is a top performer in the “relevance to practice” in five of the subjects analysed: business studies, economics, educational science, electrical engineering, information technology and mechanical engineering.
Other HEIs also show strength covering all the dimensions analysed: the TU Dresden, for example, is top in all dimensions for psychology, electrical engineering and information technology. The same applies to Mannheim University for business studies and economics. The latter also scores points for excellent student orientation and a high level of internationality in many subjects.
Focussing solely on research when talking about excellence does not do justice to the German higher education system. “All four of the aspects analysed are key tasks for German HEIs,” said Prof. Dr. Frank Ziegele, managing director of the CHE – Centre for Higher Education. “An HEI that is not a top performer in research but leads the pack in other dimensions has different strengths – but that doesn’t make it a second-rate university.”
The new special analysis derived from the CHE UniversityRanking uses data acquired at universities and universities of applied science (Fachhochschulen) for the 2010 and 2011 rankings for the subjects linguistics, cultural studies, law, economics and business studies, social sciences and engineering. Different indicators were bundled when analysing research, internationality, relevance to practice and student orientation.
As with the CHE UniversityRanking, the new analysis lists the results for the individual subjects and different types of institution separately. For universities, the special analysis, called Excellence in Diversity, looked at English and American studies, educational science, psychology, Romance studies, business studies, economics, mechanical and electrical engineering, information technology, and communication studies/journalism. For universities of applied science (Fachhochschulen), the analysis looked at mechanical engineering, business studies, social work, business informatics, industrial engineering and management, as well as media, communication studies/journalism.