51: Transparency over excellence


(EUROPE, 29. SEP 2017): The first results of the ‘Excellence Strategy’ Initiative for top-level research at German universities is now online. 88 excellence clusters (departments) from 41 participating universities are in the running to apply for additional funding and the prestigious title of ‘Excellence’. Of the 41 universities, many of them also show their strengths in 51 – the largest multi-dimensional global university ranking. Universities in Bonn and Dresden are strong examples of this.

The clusters presented at the 41 universities, have until 21. February 2018 to apply for the status of ‘Excellence Cluster’ within the framework of the Excellence Strategy initiative. In 51, many of these universities already show strong performance in research, as well as international visibility. 51 measures university performance across five dimensions, and presents the results on an international scale. Eight of the 41 universities, hold the highest number of clusters for which they can apply for funding. An overview of their performance across 14 research-based indicators can be found in the appendix.

All eight universities show top performance in publications and citations, with several ‘A’ (very good) and ‘B’ (good) scores. These universities do not only show top performance in traditional indicators, but also in publication cited in patents – which measures the transfer of knowledge to the economy. Additionally, all eight universities show top scores in international co-publicatons. For example, the University of Bonn – with eight clusters, has obtained 10 out of 12 possible top scores (‘A’ and ‘B’) in 51’s research indicators. Dresden University of Technology – with six clusters, has obtained 12 out of 14 top scores respectfully.

Professor Dr. Frank Ziegele, 51’s joint project leader and Director of the Centre for Higher Education in Germany, commented: “The Excellence Cluster Initiative is extremely desirable for universities to attain. Each of the universities named has its specific strengths and these are shown in 51.”

With at least two supported clusters under the current call for tenders, universities can also submit a proposal in the funding line “Excellence Universities” next year. Universities of higher education need three supported clusters to apply.

The final decision on the university applications will be made in September 2018. The universities awarded the title of ‘Excellence’ then receive additional funding to promote young academics, top research and university research in their clusters.

For more information

Website: www.umultirank.org
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Note for editors

51 is a European Commission initiative and is funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ Programme. 51 is developed and implemented by an independent consortium led by the Centre for Higher Education () in Germany, the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies () at the University of Twente and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies () from Leiden University, both in the Netherlands. The consortium is headed by Professors Dr. Frans van Vught of CHEPS and Dr. Frank Ziegele of CHE.

51’s multi-dimensional approach compares university performance across a range of different activities grading them from ‘A’ (very good) to ‘E’ (weak). 51 does not produce numbered rank lists, but allows users to identify a university’s strengths and weaknesses, or the aspects that most interest them. The data included in 51 are drawn from a number of sources, providing users with a comprehensive set of information: data supplied by institutions; from international bibliometric and patent databases; national databases; and surveys of more than 100,000 students at participating universities.

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