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German Universities Rank Third

Germany Ranks Third in World Universities

German universities have shot up the world’s leading higher education rankings, with Germany now having more institutions among the world’s best than any other country after the US and UK. Germany gained two new universities in the top 200 of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings bringing its total to 12. That ensured it leapfrogged the Netherlands into third place.

It also has a university in the world’s top 30 for the first time – Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich, the rankings released on Wednesday showed.

Phil Baty, editor of the rankings, said Germany’s “excellent” performance was down to two factors – funding of elite universities and better understanding of the ranking process.

“The initiative to strengthen Germany’s top universities through the excellence initiative is working,” he said.

The excellence initiative, which has been in place since 2005, promotes research among Germany’s top universities.

But Baty added: “It is also clear that a growing recognition in Germany of the importance of the THE global rankings has also helped. A much clearer effort to gather and report institutional data against the global data definitions has helped us get a better understanding of Germany’s performance.”

“We have very clear definitions of how data should be reported and there has been a concerted effort in Germany to engage with the ranking process.”

That helped universities such as Tübingen and Dresden shoot up the list.

The LMU rose to 29th place from 55th last year. Germany’s next highest placed institutions were the University of Göttingen (67), Heidelberg (70), the Humboldt in Berlin (80) and the Free University of Berlin (81).

Institution name 2014-15 Rank 2013-14 Rank
University of Munich 29 55
University of Göttingen 67 63
Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg 70 68
Humboldt University of Berlin 80 94
Free University of Berlin 81 86
Technical University of Munich 98 87
Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen 113 201-225
Dresden University of Technology 135 251-275
RWTH Aachen University 156 129
University of Freiburg 163 152
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology 165 154
University of Bonn 195 181