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26 April 2001

CHE Ranking Confirms Research Excellence at the University of Heidelberg

Top rankings on selected research criteria for chemistry, education studies, English studies, Germanic studies, history, law, mathematics, physics, psychology

On 23 April 2001 the CHE (Centre for Higher Education Development) and the magazine stern published their study guide for 2001. In the research sector the University of Heidelberg makes a very good showing, with selected research criteria bringing top rankings for the departments of chemistry, education studies, English studies, Germanic studies, history, law, mathematics, physics and psychology. For the research-oriented student (this year, the CHE distinguishes different types of student for the first time) Heidelberg is thus up among the front runners.

The study guide is a comparative survey of curricula and study conditions at German institutions of higher education. The aim is to provide crucial information for young people embarking on a course of study for the first time or changing universities. The research aspect is included in the comparison. In ranking research excellence, the CHE takes its bearings from generally accepted evaluation criteria for research: amount of external funding per scientist/scholar, number of doctoral theses per professor, number of publications/citations per scientist/scholar. A further indirect gauge of research renown also went into the ranking, the so-called "professors' tip", referring to the response from higher education teaching staff to the question which seat of learning they would recommend to their own children for their particular subject.

With regard to different indicators per subject, Heidelberg's departments of chemistry, education studies, English studies, Germanic studies, history, law, mathematics, physics and psychology come out at or near the top of the ranking based on a cross-German comparison. Two departments — physics and mathematics — were outright winners for at least three of the criteria applied. Despite its good research record, biology in Heidelberg does not feature in the ranking because this subject has not yet been included in the CHE survey.

This makes Heidelberg especially interesting for students taking research record or research environment as their guide in deciding where to study or which university they should switch to.

Findings confirm Heidelberg's profile as a research-oriented university

The findings confirm Heidelberg's profile as a research-oriented university. In some instances the student-assessment scores are however poor, and the University itself sees this as an obligation to improve study conditions, this being the only way to ensure that it will maintain its high status as an attractive seat of learning in future. In the eyes of the Rector's office this obligation derives from student evaluation of curricula and teaching also included in the study guide. Where necessary, the University leadership will join with the departments in question to take the steps required to assure an improvement in study conditions.

Rector's Office
University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542315 or 542316
fax: 06221/542147

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Updated: 04.05.2001


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