German universities cannot avoid assessment by international university rankings if they want to attract top talent as well as regional and international cooperation partners. Good ranking results are especially beneficial for internationalisation, as they enhance Germany's attractiveness as a location for research to foreign researchers and students.
A service project with the focus on international university rankings was set up in the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) in February 2019. The overarching objective of the project is to increase the international visibility of German universities and thus contribute to the improved international positioning of the German higher education system as a whole. The implementation of targeted advisory, networking and communication measures is expected to further this objective.
However, strategic participation in a university ranking should not be equated with non-critical endorsement of the practices of commercial ranking agencies in terms of methodology or marketing. Universities will be supported in terms of informed management of the data requested by ranking providers. Another emphasis is placed on the handling of ranking results in a manner that may be strategically beneficial for universities. Furthermore, the HRK service project is also responsible for representing the interests of German universities in this subject field in dialogue with policy-makers, research funding organisations and the public as well as with respect to the ranking providers.