The various CHE Ranking initiatives are all created using methodological standards that distinguishes them from most other rankings in four key areas:
- CHE rankings are strictly subject-related. No comparison of entire higher education institutions (HEIs) is made beyond the subject level. This is based on the belief that there is no such thing as "the best HEI". HEIs have individual profiles with strengths and weaknesses in different subjects.
- They are multi-dimensional. This means that, for a given subject, no overall value is derived from weighting individual indicators. HEIs have very individual strengths and weaknesses, even within a specific subject (e.g. course offerings, tutoring, and equipment). In addition, there is no empirical or theoretical basis on which to assign weighting to individual indicators. First-year students are also a heterogeneous group with varying preferences that leads to different factors on which they make decisions. As a result, a pre-determined weighting of indicators would contradict their diverse informational needs.
- They give a picture of HEIs from different perspectives. In addition to facts about departments and study programmes, the views of lecturers, students and alumni are taken into account when creating the ranking. This forms a more differentiated picture than exists in other rankings based on the views of one particular group (e.g. students or staff managers). This allows for contrasts to be made between subjective assessments and objective indicators.
- The CHE University Ranking and the CHE Research Ranking do not give HEIs a numerical ranking position, but instead assign HEIs to three rank groups, namely top group, middle group and bottom group. This is done in order to avoid minor variations in the nominal value indicator being misinterpreted as differences in performance and quality.
More information about the methodology, data acquisition and questionnaires for the individual ranking initiatives can be found under these areas of the website: CHE University Ranking, CHE Research Ranking and CHE Excellence Ranking.