In a new ranking by the German economics and business magazine Wirtschaftswoche the Faculty of Law at the University of Heidelberg heads the field among German universities. The humanities at Heidelberg came second only to the University of Tübingen. "Our outstanding position in other rankings," comments Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Silke Leopold, "is impressively confirmed by the Wirtschaftswoche study."
Wirtschaftswoche asked some 400 companies and institutions what German universities have the best reputation, which of them they prefer to recruit new staff from and what qualifications they consider especially important. Unlike studies conducted by other magazines, the Wirtschaftswoche inquiry did not place emphasis on the "feel-good" factor for students. In its preamble, the authors point out that in the "inflationary" number of rankings run by other publications and institutions two crucial questions are usually ignored: What do job prospects look like after graduation? And how decisive for these prospects is the choice of alma mater? The new ranking highlights these two points by angling its inquiry at those who decide on the success of graduates' first applications for a job: the heads of company personnel departments. "Our primary concern was the image universities have," the magazine explained.
"For me," says Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Silke Leopold, "the results of the new study are very satisfying indeed." The outstanding showing by Heidelberg University's Faculty of Law "was already clearly discernible in other rankings." The large-scale higher education ranking survey conducted jointly by the magazine stern and the German Centre for Higher Education Development had also placed Political Science at the University of Heidelberg top of the list. "But the fact that the Wirtschaftswoche ranking gives such a high evaluation of other humanities subjects at Heidelberg University," says Vice-Rector Leopold, "is especially gratifying for me." Professor Leopold is herself a musicologist.
The Dean of Heidelberg's Law Faculty Prof. Dr. Christian Müller-Graff was equally elated by the outcome of the survey. "It confirms the consistently good opinion of colleagues elsewhere about the quality of our Faculty," he said.
Prof. Leopold emphasises a further point indicated by the study. "Contrary to the frequently voiced opinion that private universities are superior to state universities, the new ranking also indicates that state universities need fear no comparisons with their private counterparts," she insisted. In four key areas theory formation, personal commitment, independence of mind and tenacity the personnel managers questioned all assessed graduates from state universities as distinctly better than rival applicants from private institutions of higher learning.
The complete version of the ranking can be found in Wirtschaftswoche edition No. 32 (1 August 2002).
Please address any inquiries to:
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317