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CHE Excellence Label 2009: economics and psychology among the best in Europe

16 November 2009

The Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE) has included the fields of psychology and economics at the University of Groningen in the Excellence Group of the best universities in Europe. The Excellence Group has only 69 members, which is 1.5 percent of the 4,500 European institutions of higher education.

Economics achieved three stars in the categories ‘publications’, ‘citations’ and ‘student mobility’ for the volume of the research output, the impact of the research output and the number of incoming and outgoing international exchange students. The CHE awarded Psychology a fourth star, in addition to these three, for ‘teaching staff mobility’. In 2007 at the University of Groningen, Biology and Physics already received a three stars qualification.

Independent European ranking list

The CHE is an independent German institute that draws up a ranking list of European institutions for higher education, with the quality of the research and internationalization being the key aspects. In the first round in 2007 science and mathematics were assessed, in 2009 it was the turn of economics, political science and psycology. The CHE Excellence Ranking allows prospective Master’s or PhD students to decide which European university will be most suitable for conducting their academic research. 


The CHE uses six criteria to compare fields at different universities: number of publications, number of citations (compared to the global standard), number of frequently cited researchers, international mobility of students and academics and participation in the Erasmus Mundus programme of the European Union. Based on these criteria, the CHE selects faculties or departments that have an outstanding performance record in at least one of the criteria.

In addition to quantitative figures, the Excellence Ranking contains lots of information about Master’s degree programmes, PhD positions, research teams and main themes within departments, as well as matters such as accommodation, facilities and tuition fees.

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