Thorn in the eyes of university rectors
Everything could be so simple: The German CHE ranking already questions Professoren and students in various categories, it collects data on care, overall on the study situation or - increasingly important - on practical orientation.
But not a few university rectors, the CHE ranking is a thorn in the side. Why?
The CHE-ranking in the Criticism
The CHE-Ranking works with a traffic light system. In the various categories, the universities are divided into the final group (blue), midfield (yellow) and top group (green).
The actually achieved grade of the university is irrelevant, only the comparison with the other colleges counts. This portrayal criticizes many critics as too simplistic and confusing.
The methods with which the CHE raises the data for the ranking are also criticized. For example, for reasons of data protection, the universities carry out surveys of the students themselves, sometimes even the Professorafter your own lectures.
That's why the suspicion of manipulation in the room quickly came as a surprise. Furthermore, it is not known how many students actually participate in the surveys.
Surveys are not representative
The surveys are therefore not representative. A further criticism of the critics is that the CHE does not disclose the data base. The surveys are therefore not verifiable.
At first the critics protested. Then, entire disciplines were closed against the surveys, above all the historians.
Some have dropped out altogether
In the meantime, some Unis have been completely exhausted from the ranking, for example the University of Cologne - which previously ranked as the final group in the CHE ranking.
Whether injured pride led to the exit or not - the fewer universities participate, the less meaningful is the ranking. Students who decide to go to or against a particular university should not rely solely on the CHE ranking.
Are there alternatives?
Many students only determine whether the study is really the right one in the course of their studies or when they enter the profession. If you are in the middle of the course, you should ask the students and lecturers.
Those who do not have the money or the time to visit any eligible university or do not dare to do "field research" on the ground will also find valuable opinions on the internet.
Real experiences on the internet
In forums and blogs, many students exchange ideas and opinions, assess their studies, write reviews and experience reports, and award grades to categories such as organization.
Through such experiences, those interested in the program get a more authentic insight into the study situation on the ground. However, the internet also risks manipulation.
Combine different orientation aids
So if you have to decide on a course of study, you can fall back on various guidelines. University rankings give a first impression, especially as far as the reputation of the college in research is concerned.
However, those interested in university studies should critically question university qualifications, as the categories are not always relevant and meaningful.
Combined with the experiences of real students, the academics are well prepared to finally make the right decision in the course of their studies.
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