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News vom 30.06.2008

Transparent methods used for CHE Ranking

The transparency of rankings with respect to the methods applied is one of the most crucial criteria for a solid ranking, as determined by the International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) in the “Berlin Principles“. The CHE Ranking of course meets these requirements – despite occasional statements otherwise.

All aspects of the CHE Ranking methods, developed and improved every year in cooperation with renown representatives of the respective ranked subjects, are transparent:

  • In a comprehensive booklet of methods, the CHE documents fully the methodology of the acquisition of the data as well as the establishment of indicators and the ranked groups. In addition, all questionnaires from the last three data collection years can be called up on the homepage of the ranking project (CHE-HochschulRanking>Methodik>Fragebögen)

  • In order to document how departments are allocated to the top, middle and bottom groups on the basis of assessments given by students, these assessments are displayed via default bar charts (CHE-HochschulRanking>Methodik>Fehlerbalkendiagramme für Studierendenurteile). These bar charts show average values and confidence intervals, crucial for the evaluation of the quality of the grouping. The calculation of the confidence intervals is based on the variance of the assessments (standard deviation) and the sample size.


  • If desired, departments may have a detailed special evaluation of the student interviews at no extra cost in which the average value, the sample size and the standard deviation are documented for each individual question in the questionnaire. Many departments use this service.

  • Only raw data from the student interviews are not made public as interviewees are assured that the information they give is not passed on to third parties.

  • The online edition of the university ranking published by the German newspaper DIE ZEIT also includes a short description of the methods used and refers to the comprehensive booklet of methods.

  • Each page of the online edition of the university ranking published by the German newspaper DIE ZEIT includes a link to the project homepage.

  • In addition, a small button is included wherever an indicator is listed. Clicking on this small button will give you a detailed description of the indicator. This description can also be found in the ranking via INFOS>Kriterienkatalog.


  • The criteria used in the ranking are also explained in the study guide published by the German newspaper DIE ZEIT.

  • The ranking project team will answer all other remaining questions. You can contact the head of project directly via the “Kontakt” button on the online ranking homepage.

    The CHE does not know of any other ranking or rating that offers transparency about the methods applied in this way. The methods used are the result of 10 years of development work by the CHE. In addition, the subjects to be examined are discussed with high education representatives on “expert boards” and adjusted to the conditions of the respective subject. This results in on-going monitoring by higher education experts of the methods used.


    Further Information can be found in the publication stated below.

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    Cort-Denis Hachmeistermehr
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