51 - Legal Information

Information required under Section 5 of the German Telemedia Act (TMG) and Section 55 of the Interstate Treaty on Broadcasting (RStV):

Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung GmbH

Verler Strasse 6

D-33332 Gütersloh


Phone +49 (0) 5241 97 61 58

Fax +49 (0) 5241 97 61 40

Email:    info@umultirank.org

VAT ID No.: DE 200127293

Registered office Gütersloh - Amtsgericht Gütersloh (Gütersloh Local Court) HRB 3122

Executive directors of CHE gGmbH:

Prof. Dr. Frank Ziegele

Responsible for the content:

Professor Dr. Frank Ziegele

Liability notice:

All the information on our website has been thoroughly checked. We take every effort to continuously extend and update this information. However, no guarantee can be assumed for the completeness, correctness and up-to-dateness of the information given. CHE gGmbH provides this information without any assurance or guarantee of any kind, whether express or implied. CHE gGmbH excludes any liability for damages that occur directly or indirectly from the use of this website, as long as such damages are not based on intent or gross negligence on the part of CHE gGmbH. Our website contains links to external websites. These links are purely informational in nature. We have no influence on the development of the content of these linked websites. For this reason, their operators are solely responsible for the content of linked websites.


All content (texts, images, graphics, sound, video and animation files, as well as their arrangement, among other things) and works on this website are subject to German copyright law and other protective laws. This legal protection also applies with respect to databases and similar facilities. The content is freely usable only for the intended purpose of being viewed on the internet. The content of this website may not be copied, disseminated, modified or made accessible to third parties in any way beyond the limits of copyright without the written consent of CHE gGmbH or the relevant right holder. In addition, some areas of the 51 website contain images that are subject to the copyright of third parties.

Web tool designed by:

51 is led by a consortium:

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This project has been funded with support from the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme and Santander Group. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the financial partners cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Bertelsmann Stiftung
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Updated: 11. January 2019

Website Privacy Statement


Being the operator of our online offering, CHE Gemeinnütziges Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung GmbH (CHE Centre for Higher Education gGmbH) is the data controller in charge of processing personal data of any users of such online offering. You can find our contact details in the imprint of the online offering, while the contacts for questions concerning processing of the personal data are named directly in this Privacy Statement.

We, CHE, are strongly committed to protecting your privacy and your private and personal data. We collect, save, and use your personal data strictly in accordance with the provisions of this Privacy Statement and the applicable data protection provisions, including without limitation the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and national data protection provisions.

With this Privacy Statement, we wish to inform you to what extent and for what purpose your personal data is processed in connection with the use of our online offering.

Personal data

Personal data is all information about an identified or identifiable individual. This includes information about your identity such as your name, your e-mail address, or your postal address. Any information that cannot be directly linked to your identity (e.g. statistical details such as the number of users of the online offering) is, however, not considered to be personal data.

You can essentially use our online offering without disclosing your identity and without providing any personal data. In that case, we will merely collect general information about your visit to our online offering. However, some of the services offered require you to provide certain personal data. As a rule, we will process such data only for purposes connected with the use of this online offering, including without limitation for the provision of the desired information. Whenever personal data is collected, you are only required to provide the data that is absolutely essential. Also, you may be asked to provide additional details, which are optional information provided voluntarily. We let you know in each case whether the input fields are for mandatory or optional details. More specific details are provided in the relevant section of this Privacy Statement.

There is no automated decision-making on the basis of your personal data in connection with the use of our online offering.

Processing personal data

With the exception of newsletter/ press registrants, which are stored via Constant Contact – a US based company (see section on ‘Newsletter’), we store the information provided by you on protected dedicated servers located within the European Union. Technical and organisational measures are taken to protect such servers against loss, destruction, access, modification, or dissemination of your data by unauthorized persons. Access to your data will be permitted only to a limited number of persons in charge of the technical, commercial, or editorial support of the servers. Notwithstanding regular controls, full protection against all risks cannot be provided.

Your personal data is transmitted over the Internet in encrypted form. We use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption for transmission of data.

Disclosure of personal data to third parties

We use your personal information exclusively for providing the services that you have requested from us. Insofar as we use external service providers in performing the service requested, such external service providers will also access the data exclusively for the purpose of performing the service. By taking the necessary technical and organisational measures we ensure compliance with privacy policies and we demand the same of our external partners.

Moreover, we will not disclose the data to any third parties, including without limitation for advertising purposes, without your express consent. We will disclose your personal data only if you have given your consent to disclosure of the data or insofar as we are entitled or obligated to do so under legal provisions and/or administrative or judicial orders. This may include, without being limited to, giving information for purposes of criminal prosecution, in order to avert danger, or in order to enforce intellectual property rights.

Legal basis of data processing

Insofar as we obtain your consent to processing your personal data, Article 6(1), (a) of the GDPR constitutes the legal basis for such data processing.

Insofar as we process your personal data because processing is necessary for the performance of a contract or is necessary under a quasi-contractual relationship with you, the lawfulness of data processing is based on Article 6(1), (b) of the GDPR.

Insofar as we process your personal data because processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation, the lawfulness of data processing is based on Article 6(1)(c) of the GDPR.

Furthermore, Article 6(1), (f) of the GDPR may constitute the legal basis for data processing, if processing of your personal data is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by CHE or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by your interests or your fundamental rights and freedoms which require protection of personal data.

Throughout this Privacy Statement, we always point to the legal basis underlying our processing of your personal data.

Deletion of data and duration of storage

We invariably delete or block any personal data provided by you as soon as the purpose of storage of such data ceases to apply. However, we may continue to store your personal data beyond that, if such storage is governed by legal provisions to which we are subject, including without limitation the legal obligation to retain business records and documentation. In such a case, we will delete or block the personal data after the prescribed period of time has expired.

Use of our online offering

Use of cookies

Like many other websites, our online offering uses cookies. Cookies are small text files that are stored on your computer and store certain settings and data of your web browser for the exchange with our online offering. As a rule, a cookie contains the name of the domain from which the cookie file has been sent as well as information about the age of the cookie and an alphanumeric identifier.

Cookies enable us recognise your computer and make any default settings immediately available. Cookies help us to improve our online offering and to provide you with an even better service customised to meet your particular requirements. This also constitutes a legitimate interest in the processing of the data in accordance with Article 6(1), (f) of the GDPR.

The cookies we use are so-called session cookies that are automatically deleted after the end of the browser session. In individual cases, we may use cookies with a longer storage time so that your default settings and preferences may be considered when you visit our online offering the next time.

Most web browsers are set to accept cookies by default. However, you can disable the storage of cookies or set up your web browser to inform you when you receive a cookie. It is also possible to manually delete stored cookies in the browser settings. Please note that your use of our online offering may be limited or restricted if you refuse to save cookies or delete necessary cookies.

Analysis cookies

We use Google Analytics for statistical evaluation purposes. Google Analytics is a web analytics service provided by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94034, USA (“Google”). Google Analytics uses cookies, or text files, that are stored on your computer and enable an analysis of your usage of our website. The information generated by the cookies on your usage of our website is generally transmitted to a Google server in the USA and stored there. However, if IP anonymization is activated on this website, your IP address is truncated by Google within the EU member states and in other EEA member states. The full IP address is transmitted to a Google server in the USA and truncated there only in exceptional cases. Google has been commissioned by the owner of this website to use this information for analyzing your use of the website for the purpose of compiling reports on website activity and providing other services to the website owner related to website and Internet usage. The IP address transmitted from your browser via Google Analytics is not merged or mingled with other data by Google. You can prevent cookies from being stored on your computer by making a setting in your browser; however, you may not be able to use all the features on our website after doing this. You also have the option of preventing the information generated by the cookie in reference to your use of our website (including your IP address) and transmitted to Google from being collected and processed by Google by downloading and installing this browser add-on:

For more information please visit: and (General information on Google Analytics und data privacy and protection). We would like to advise you that this website uses Google Analytics with the “anonymizeIp();” extension, which means that IP addresses are only used in a truncated form (the last octet is deleted) in order to prevent any direct link being established to any individual.

We use Hotjar in order to better understand our users’ needs and to optimize this service and experience. Hotjar is a technology service that helps us better understand our users experience (e.g. how much time they spend on which pages, which links they choose to click, what users do and don’t like, etc.) and this enables us to build and maintain our service with user feedback. Hotjar uses cookies and other technologies to collect data on our users’ behavior and their devices (in particular device's IP address (captured and stored only in anonymized form), device screen size, device type (unique device identifiers), browser information, geographic location (country only), preferred language used to display our website). Hotjar stores this information in a pseudonymized user profile. Neither Hotjar nor we will ever use this information to identify individual users or to match it with further data on an individual user. For further details, please see Hotjar’s privacy policy by clicking on .

You can opt-out to the creation of a user profile, Hotjar’s storing of data about your usage of our site and Hotjar’s use of tracking cookies on other websites by following this

We believe that, thanks to the safeguards employed by us to protect the data transmitted to us (anonymization and opt-out option), the data processing activities engaged in by us to optimize our online offering may be view as a legitimate interest in data processing pursuant to Art. 6 (1), (f) GDPR


You can register for the use of our online offering. To register, you have to provide the data requested during registration, such as your name, address and e-mail address. In addition, we record the date and time of registration. During the registration process, we ask for your consent to using your data. That gives you the advantage of not having to enter this data every time you wish to use our online service.

If you give your consent, processing of data provided for registration purposes is based on Article 6(1), (a) of the GDPR. If you register with us for the purposes of performance or initiation of a contract, the legal basis for processing of the data is additionally constituted by Article 6(1), (b) of the GDPR.

Upon registration, an account is created for you. The data in the account is stored as long as there is an active contact. If there has been no activity for a period of three years, the status of the contact is set to Inactive. You can at any time demand deletion of your account.

Handling of the personal data for the surveys

The implementation of 51 requires the collection of certain personal data. These data serve to organize the rankings and conduct surveys. On the other hand, certain personal data are needed for analyses within the ranking. The following table provides an overview of which groups of persons we collect data from, which personal data are processed, for what purpose this data is collected, how long this data is stored and who transmits the data to 51.

Table 1: Origin of the data

The personal data of a person are stored by 51 during the entire publication period of data of the ranking, in the collection of which the respective person was involved. Likewise, the name lists required for the publication analysis are archived for the entire publication period. For all personal data mentioned above, they will be deleted in all databases and storage media of 51 at the specified times listed above.

All personal data mentioned are used exclusively for 51 purposes. In the publicly accessible versions of the ranking (Online) no personal data are published. In addition, all data for 51 are evaluated and presented in such a way that they are not personally identifiable. For example, no results on research indicators (such as research grants, publications, or doctoral degrees) are reported if there are fewer than three professors in the department, and thus conclusions on the research performance of individuals are possible.

51 operates as a consortium, comprised of various organisations, groups and institutions working together. Personal data will not be passed on to third parties, outside of the consortium. For a list of consortium members, please refer to our website: www.umultirank.org. All employees who have access to the personal data in the context of 51 are obliged to observe the legal provisions on data protection. In this context, the transfer of address data to third parties is strictly prohibited and still applies even if the employees are no longer working on 51.

Surveys (for university staff)

The data collection of 51 is based on four questionnaires: the pre-survey, the institutional survey, the subject survey and the student survey. Participation in the pre-, as well as the institutional-survey are required for participating universities, while the subject-based surveys and student questionnaire are voluntary. In these surveys, 51 asks for the personal data of a university staff member, to serve as the university’s contact person for 51. Also interested parties, that have sent a data request to 51, will be asked for personal data. To be specific, the following data are collected:

  • Last name
  • First name
  • Gender
  • Name of institution/University
  • Faculty
  • Position/function
  • Country
  • Email address

These data will be used for the communication regarding the data collection, verification and publication process. None of the published 51 data will be associable with these private data. The data listed above will be kept in our database for 50 months.

Surveys (for students)

51 does not collect personal data from students, unless explicitly and independently provided for the purposes of staying informed on 51 results, developments and/or news.

The invitations to the student survey are sent out by the participating universities. For this purpose, 51 provides the contact person for the student survey (see above) with all the necessary documents (sample invitation letters, password lists). Participation in the student survey is anonymous. The password for access to the online survey is randomly assigned by the universities and does not allow 51 to draw any conclusions about the participant. In addition, no personal data is recorded in the student questionnaire. The raw data of the student survey will not be passed on to the universities. Thus, the participating university cannot relate the data to its students (for example, no results on the indicators of the student survey will be shown if less than 15 students submitted their questionnaire).

For all data collected by 51 surveys, the legal basis for keeping your data details follows from your consent pursuant to Art. 6(1), (a) GDPR and also from Art. 6(1), (f) of the GDPR because your personal data is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate scientific interests pursued by 51.

Communication with us

There are various ways of contacting us, including but not limited to the contact form on our website. In addition, we will be happy to inform you regularly by e-mailing you our newsletters which deal with various topics.

Contact form

If you wish to use the contact form of our online offering, we will collect the personal data that you provide in the contact form, including but not limited to your name and e-mail address. In addition, we record the date and time of your enquiry. We process any data transmitted through the contact form exclusively for the purpose of answering your enquiry or reacting to your concern.

It is up to you to decide what information you provide in the contact form. In accordance with Article 6(1), (a) of the GDPR, your consent constitutes the legal basis for processing your data.

After the matter has been dealt with, the data is stored for some time in case you have any further questions. Without prejudice to the relevant legal retention periods, you may request deletion of the data at any time, otherwise the data will be deleted once the matter has been conclusively dealt with.


If you subscribe to our newsletter, via Constant Contact, we will use your e-mail address for information purposes of CHE until you unsubscribe from the newsletter. Constant Contact is a US-based global mail service provider, whose current privacy programme has been certified to the obligations and standards of the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shields, which means they lawfully transfer and protect the personal data of EU/EEA residents to the U.S. pursuant to the rules of the Federal Trade Commission and the EU. In particular, how 51’s content and contacts are handled, as well as how they collect data from the 51 site are outlined in section 7, sub-sections (b) and (d) respectively. These sections are outlined and provided in full under Constant Contact‘s legal terms: .

You will be regularly updated by e-mail on current topics related to our projects and receive e-mails informing you of special occasions such as new studies and events. Such e-mails may be personalised and individualised on the basis of information we have about you.

Unless you have given us your consent in writing, we use the so-called double opt-in procedure for subscription to our newsletter, i.e. we will send you our newsletter by e-mail only once you have expressly confirmed that you want us to activate transmission of the newsletter. We will then send you a notification e-mail and ask you to confirm, by clicking on one of the links contained in that e-mail, that you wish to receive our newsletter.

If you have explicitly subscribed to our newsletter, your consent constitutes the legal basis for processing of your data in accordance with Article 6(1)(a) of the GDPR. Under the applicable legal provisions, we may send you our newsletter without having obtained your express consent based on the fact that you have ordered certain publications from us and we have therefore received your e-mail address and you have not objected to receiving information from us by e-mail. In this case, our legitimate interest in direct mailing constitutes the legal basis in accordance with Article 6(1)(f) of the GDPR.

If you do no longer wish to receive our newsletters, you can revoke your consent at any time with effect for the future and/or object to receiving the newsletter without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs in accordance with the basic tariffs.

Social Media

Our online offering contains links or plugins to the social networks Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram. The links are identified by the logo of their relevant providers.

Clicking on a link opens the relevant social media web pages; this Privacy Statement does not apply to such web pages. For further details on the provisions applicable on such web pages please refer to the relevant privacy statements of each of the providers; you can find them at:




Youtube und google+:


No personal information is forwarded to the relevant providers before clicking on the links or calling up a plugin. Calling up the linked website also constitutes the basis for data processing by the relevant website provider.

Use of YouTube

Our online offering contains videos for which we use plugins from the Google-run site YouTube (“YouTube”). The operator of the service is YouTube LLC, 901 Cherry Ave., San Bruno, CA 94066, USA. If you call up an internet page of our online offering which contains a video, a connection with the 

YouTube servers is created. On that occasion, the YouTube server is told which internet pages of our online offering you have visited.

If you are logged in to your YouTube account at that time, you allow YouTube to directly associate your browsing behaviour with your personal profile. You can prevent that by logging out of your YouTube account first. For further information on the handling of user data please refer to the Google privacy statement at which also applies to YouTube.

Using YouTube enables us to show you videos and give you more information on ourselves and our projects; this at the same time constitutes our legitimate interest within the meaning of Article 6(1), (f) of the GDPR.

Your rights; contact

We, CHE, are committed to explaining how we process personal data and to inform you about your rights as transparently as possible. If you want more detailed information or wish to exercise your rights, you can contact us at any time so that we can take care of your concerns.

Rights of persons concerned

You have extensive rights with respect to the processing of your personal data. First of all, you have an extensive right to information and under certain circumstances may demand correction and/or deletion or blocking of your personal data. You can also demand restriction of processing and you have a right of objection. You also have a right to data portability with a view to personal data that you have transmitted to us.

If you wish to assert any of your rights and/or want more detailed information concerning your rights, please use the contact form to get in touch with our staff. Alternatively, you may contact our data protection officer.

Revocation of consent and objection

You may at any time revoke your consent with future effect. Revocation of the consent does not affect the legality of any processing performed on the basis of such consent given up until the revocation thereof. In such cases, too, please use our contact form to get in touch with our staff and/or our data protection officer.

Insofar as the processing of your personal data is not based on consent given by you but on another legal basis, you can object to the data processing. Your objection will lead to a review and, if necessary, to termination of the data processing. You will be informed of the outcome of the review and – if the data processing is to be continued after all – you will receive further information from us on why the data processing is admissible.

Data protection officer; contact

We have appointed an external data protection officer who supports us in data protection issues and who you can contact directly. If you have questions regarding our handling of personal data or if you require other information on data protection issues, please do not hesitate to contact our Data Protection Officer and his team:

RA Dr. Sebastian Meyer, LL.M.
c/o BRANDI Rechtsanwälte

Adenauerplatz 1, 33602 Bielefeld
Phone: 052196535-812
E-mail: datenschutz@che.de

If you wish to contact our data protection officer personally by e-mail, you may send an e-mail to sebastian.meyer@brandi.net.


If you are of the opinion that the processing of your personal data does not comply with this Privacy Statement or the applicable data protection provisions, you can file a complaint with our data protection officer. Our data protection officer will review the matter and inform you of the outcome of the review. In addition, you are entitled to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority.

Further information; amendments

Links to other websites

Our online service may contain links to other websites. Generally, these links are identified as such. We cannot control to what extent linked websites comply with the applicable data protection provisions. We therefore recommend that for other providers’ data protection statements, you refer to the information given on their respective websites.

Amendments of this Privacy Statement

Any revision of this Privacy Statement is identified by the date specified (see below). We reserve the right to amend this Privacy Statement at any time with effect for the future. Amendments will be made, among other things, in case of technical adjustments of the online offering or changes of the data protection laws. The Privacy Statement as amended from time to time is always made available directly through our online offering. We recommend obtaining information on any changes of this Privacy Statement on a regular basis.

This Privacy Statement was last revised in January 2019


* Brexit disclaimer (January 2020):

51 is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.


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