German universities among world’s best for science subjects, study finds

In a new global ranking of higher education institutions released on Tuesday, German universities ranked among the world’s very best, performing particularly well in the sciences.

German universities among world's best for science subjects, study finds
File photo: DPA.

In the fourth annual edition of the 2018 U.S. News Best Global Universities ranking, Germany came in fifth place overall; 58 German universities made the list of a total of 1,250 institutions across 74 countries worldwide.

The U.S. placed first with 221 institutions on the list, followed by China, Japan and the UK, respectively.

But another indicator of country performance is how well it did in terms of subject rankings.

Germany did well in this area too, coming out in fourth place overall with the highest number of ranked universities in the subject specific category – 6.8 percent of the total number of ranked schools of 22 determined subjects.

In the ranking’s subject specific category, which include 6,800 institutions worldwide, the U.S. was the top-performing country (25.3 percent), followed by the UK (7.8 percent) in second place and China (7.4 percent) in third.

German universities moreover managed to get into the top five in almost all of the subjects included – 18 subjects of the 22 subjects in total.

But what is especially noteworthy is how well Germany fared in terms of its institutions’ science subjects.

For the neuroscience and behaviour subject ranking, for instance, Germany had the second-highest number of ranked universities with 25 institutions on the list. Only the US fared better in this subject, with 70 institutions.

Germany also had the second-highest number of ranked universities in five other subjects: physics (46 universities), biology and biochemistry (38 universities), molecular biology (22 universities), immunology (19 universities) and microbiology (17 universities).

The country furthermore had the third-highest number of ranked universities in several other subjects: chemistry, geosciences, pharmacology and toxicology, plant and animal science, psychiatry and psychology, social science and public health, space science and the arts and humanities.

Other subjects which Germany fared well in include clinical medicine, environment and ecology, materials science and mathematics.

“The schools that rank the highest in the Best Global Universities rankings are those that emphasize academic research, including by partnering with international scholars to produce highly cited articles,” said Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News.

The annual ranking aims to provide insight into how universities compare globally since an increasing number of students are enrolling in universities abroad, U.S. News said.

READ ALSO: Tenth of world's most reputable universities are in Germany


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.