The CHE University Ranking in Germany

  • Maarja Beerkens
  • David D. Dill
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 30)


University rankings have become widely influential in the last 10 years, both on a national and international scale. Rankings as a consumer information tool can function as an effective quality assurance mechanism. Most existing university rankings, however, seem to distort rather than improve the higher education market. The CHE ranking in Germany is an exception. It is a carefully designed ranking that minimizes the main conceptual and methodological problems that university rankings commonly face. The analysis in the chapter concludes that commercially oriented entities alone cannot provide a high quality university ranking. Original data collection and data verification is a costly activity and there is a strong incentive for commercial providers to rely on easily available statistics. Therefore, even if a commercial venue can be effective in compiling, presenting and marketing relevant information, the quality of a university ranking depends on the data collected by public or not-for-profit agencies.


League Table Subject Field Ranking Exercise Dysfunctional Effect Reputational Measure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank Gero Federkeil for providing us with valuable information on the CHE ranking system and for his helpful comments on an earlier draft of the chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maarja Beerkens
    • 1
  • David D. Dill
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS)University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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