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THE: Freie Universität Berlin among World’s 100 Best Universities

Freie Universität One of the Top Three German Universities

№ 266/2009 from Oct 08, 2009

According to the new ranking by the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE), Freie Universität is one of the 100 best universities in the world. As THE announced in London, Freie Universität is in the 94th place in its latest university ranking. That is 43 places better than the previous year and 78 better than in the first ranking in 2005. Among the world’s 100 best universities, no other university managed a larger leap forward. Freie Universität is third among German universities surpassed only by the University of Heidelberg and TU München. Nationally Freie Universität improved by one place.

In the humanities Freie Universität is once again the best-placed German university and ranks 27 worldwide. Among European universities Freie Universität ranks 6th in the humanities, just after Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, the University of Edinburgh, and University College London. In the social sciences Freie Universität moved up 25 places to 47 worldwide. It is the only German university to reach the top 50 in the worldwide rankings for the social sciences. In the natural sciences Freie Universität improved by five places to rank 77 worldwide. In addition, Freie Universität Berlin improved its world rank significantly in the life sciences and the technical subjects by moving up 40 respectively 27 places.

The ranking is based inter alia on the opinions of more than 9,000 scientists and numerous representatives of companies and the frequency with which a university’s scholars are cited in scientific journals. Another criterion is the proportion of foreign students and researchers at the universities.

An analysis of the indicators showed that Freie Universität Berlin’s success is based in particular on a high visibility of its scientific and academic achievements. In this regard Freie Universität is now on par with the world’s leading universities. In the number of citations achieved, Freie Universität is comparable to the University of Cambridge, Yale University, or Columbia University.

The results achieved the previous year for the internationality of students and employees were confirmed. Freie Universität received an improved assessment in the eyes of potential employers, who found Freie Universität about twice as good in comparison with 2007. Both factors indicate that the excellent research achievements had a positive effect on the quality of teaching.

The president of Freie Universität Berlin, Prof. Dr. Dieter Lenzen, stated that with these pleasing results in the aftermath of the German Excellence Competition, Freie Universität has achieved another major objective, namely to be included among the 100 best universities in the world. “The leap of 43 places in comparison with the preceding year is the result of hard work by the scientists and academics of Freie Universität. For this they deserve the thanks not only of the university management, but certainly also Berlin politicians. Moreover, these results are particularly pleasing because they are based on the university’s popularity among international students and scholars which Freie Universität appreciates. Another positive factor is the verdict of many employers for whom Freie Universität Berlin is increasingly a first address. The results confirm our concept of the International Network University. Against this background we will set new goals and endeavor to continue to prove ourselves worthy of success.”

Further Information

For further information and interview requests, please contact:

Christa Beckmann, Head of the Office of News and Public Affairs, Freie Universität Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-73182

Link to the Ranking: