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What do the indicators used say about "reputation"? Where do they come from?
The indicators relating to “reputation” are determined from interviews with professors. For universities, the ranking distinguishes between the reputation of HEIs with respect to study programmes and teaching, and their reputation with respect to research. For Fachhochschulen, the ranking only considers reputation with respect to study programmes and teaching. The CHE asks professors to name up to five German HEIs that they would recommend for the subject they teach purely on the basis of the quality of the education. In addition, university professors were also asked to name up to five HEIs that they consider to be leaders in terms of research in the subject they>
Within the subject community, i.e. among the professors of a particular subject, there is usually a clear consensus about the prestige and reputation of the individual faculties. Even if professors do not know the details for all faculties offering their subject, they still have knowledge of a reputation hierarchy. This indicator reflects professors’ opinions and is not used as an indicator for the performance of the respective HEIs. The reputation of a faculty may be consistent with their actual performance in research and teaching, but this is not always the case. There may be faculties whose reputation is primarily based on past performance. On the other hand, there are faculties whose actual performance (as reflected in factors such as the number of publications) is not yet recognised among professors. Nevertheless, this indicator can provide useful information, not least because the reputation of an HEI can often reflect on its graduates.

For the “reputation” indicator, the top group is formed from those universities that have been named by at least 25% of the professors and those Fachhochschulen that have been named by at least 15% of the professors.
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