Rank the Rankings

University Rankings are popular. And some of them are quite influential, even though their methodologies leave a lot to be desired. A good example of this influence is for instance the fact that in Malaysia, Ministers and even the Prime Minister have reacted to the Times Higher Education Supplement ranking of universities (very well reported on in this blog, here and here and here, and many more posts)

The Education Policy Institute now has a report on these league tables (a sort of ranking of rankings). Surprisingly (or not?), they point to the German model as a best practice. It’s surprising because it’s not a ranking in the way we know it, like the Newsweek ranking, the THES ranking or the Shanghai Jiao Tong Ranking.

This ranking is developed by the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE) and its English version is offered through the DAAD website. In this ranking, you personally give your ranking criteria and the priority in these criteria. The site then gives you the best university for your subject (you can also search by university or by city).

The CHE methodology has also attracted the attention from other European countries such as Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands (here they already started with a weak copycat of the CHE ranking). In the long term it might develop into a European wide ranking, where students are able to rank universities throughout Europe, based on their own preferences.

For those that still want to see a ranking. Here is my ranking of political science departments in Germany:

  1. Humboldt-Universitaet Berlin
  2. Universitaet Mannheim
  3. Universitaet Tuebingen
  4. Universitaet Bremen
  5. Universitaet Konstanz

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