The University of Groningen is part of the so-called Excellence Group of the German Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE) in the subjects biology, physics and now chemistry too. According to the CHE, the members of this Excellence Group offer Master’s students and PhD students exceptionally strong research and international orientation.
The CHE is an independent German institute which draws up ranking lists of European institutions of higher education. The CHE Excellence Ranking allows prospective Master’s and PhD students to decide which European university will be most suitable for conducting their academic research.
On the basis of assessments in 2007 and 2009, the fields of biology, physics, economics and psychology at the University of Groningen were already awarded the Excellence Group label. This year it was again the turn of the natural sciences to be assessed, and the University of Groningen can now count itself among the best in Europe in the field of chemistry too.
Of the 181 universities in this ranking list, only 6 percent have achieved Excellence status in five of the seven fields. The University of Groningen is among this group, as are the universities of Leiden and Utrecht. Only the University of Amsterdam scores better with all seven fields in the Excellence Group.
The CHE uses eight criteria to be able to compare fields at different universities: number of publications, number of citations, international mobility of students and researchers, and participation in the Erasmus Mundus or Marie Curie programmes of the European Union. Whether researchers in the department have been awarded an ERC Grant or a Nobel Prize also plays a role. The University of Groningen scores particularly well on the criteria with the most impact: the number of publications and the number of citations (compared with the global standard).
In addition, the Excellence Ranking contains a great deal of information about Master’s programmes, PhD positions, research teams and the main themes of the departments, as well as issues such as entry requirements and the housing situation in the various student cities. Current students have also assessed their study facilities and thus provide prospective students with valuable insights.
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