Tenth of world’s most reputable universities are in Germany

20 German universities are currently among the 200 most prestigious in the world, according to a renowned ranking released on Tuesday.

Tenth of world's most reputable universities are in Germany
Students in Bonn, Germany. Photo: DPA.

In the 14th annual edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) 2018 World University Rankings, Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich led the way as Germany’s highest placed institution, ranking as the 34th most reputable university in the world. The Munich school had nonetheless slipped four places in comparison with last year.

The THE ranking included 1,000 universities from a total of 77 countries. 44 German higher education institutions made the list this year, up from 41 last year.

US and British universities dominated the top of the list, with gold, silver and bronze going to the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and California Institute of Technology, respectively.

Of the other German universities on the list, Munich’s Technical University and Heidelberg University did best, ranking in the top 50 at 41st and 45th place, correspondingly.

Some German universities moved up significantly compared to last year. The University of Freiburg for instance rose from 95th to 82nd place while the University of Cologne ascended to 145th from 170th place.

Several new German institutions joined the list this year too. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin ranked in 126th place, University of Passau and University of Potsdam ranked in the 201-250 cohort and Hamburg’s University of Technology snuck into the 401-500 bracket.

SEE ALSO: Why small German university towns are the best for foreign students

Meanwhile the University of Bonn managed to squeeze into the top 100, rated 100th place up from 113th last year.

“Germany remains one of the strongest higher education nations in the world, but its universities are increasingly under threat from the rise of Asia,”said Phil Baty, editor of THE, in a statement.

Chinese universities are climbing rapidly in the list, putting heavy pressure on institutions worldwide. Two of China’s leading universities now outrank Germany’s top university LMU Munich.

READ ALSO: Germany is 'best country for international students', above UK

Germany could also benefit from a potential decline in the number of international students applying to American and British universities in light of Brexit and tightened immigration policies in the two countries, according to Baty.

“If Germany ensures that it can continue to invest in its world-leading higher education sector, and remain open and welcoming as other Western nations become increasingly insular, the country will be more competitive in the years ahead,” he said.


Police probe opened after poster campaign against ‘Islamophobic’ lecturers at French university

The French government condemned on Monday a student protest campaign targeting two university professors accused of Islamophobia, saying it could put the lecturers in danger.

Police probe opened after poster campaign against 'Islamophobic' lecturers at French university
Illustration photo: Justin Tallis/AFP

Student groups plastered posters last week on the walls of a leading political science faculty in Grenoble that likened the professors to “fascists” and named them both in a campaign backed by the UNEF student union.

Junior interior minister Marlene Schiappa said the posters and social media comments recalled the online harassment of French schoolteacher Samuel Paty last October, who was beheaded in public after being denounced online for offending Muslims.

“These are really odious acts after what happened with the decapitation of Samuel Paty who was smeared in the same way on social networks,” she said on the BFM news channel. “We can’t put up with this type of thing.”

“When something is viewed as racist or discriminatory, there’s a hierarchy where you can report these types of issues, which will speak to the professor and take action if anything is proven,” Schiappa said.

Sciences Po university, which runs the Institute of Political Studies (IEP) in Grenoble in eastern France, also condemned the campaign on Monday and has filed a criminal complaint.

An investigation has been opened into slander and property damage after the posters saying “Fascists in our lecture halls. Islamophobia kills” were found on the walls of the faculty.

One of the professors is in charge of a course called “Islam and Muslims in contemporary France” while the other is a lecturer in German who has taught at the faculty for 25 years.