May 4, 2016
Another enormous success for Jacobs University: only around a month after attaining excellent results in the international U-Multirank, the private university once again got top scores – this time, in a large-scale comparison of higher education institutions. In the latest rankings of the Center for Higher Education (CHE) and the prominent weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT, Jacobs University achieved outstanding ratings – particularly in the subjects of biology and psychology.
The students surveyed rated the overall study situation of biology very highly, giving it top grades. Among the other top-rated aspects of Jacobs University were the teaching of subject-specific competencies, laboratory work experience courses, and the dedicated supervision by tutors. Psychology as a study program was particularly highly rated, due to its international approach and the large proportion of third-party funding.
“We are overjoyed that the quality of the courses we offer has been so impressively confirmed,” says University President Professor Katja Windt. “Both the professional world and the research environment are changing faster than ever before – and with them, the demands placed on university graduates. It is more important than ever that we continue to pursue our forward-looking policies regarding research and teaching so we do not lag behind current developments. Our successes in the CHE rankings confirm that our policies and strategies are effective in this respect.”
Enormous success for biology
“The recently published results of the CHE rankings – with maximum points for all aspects of the teaching of subject-oriented competencies in biology – are an endorsement for us and, above all, attest to our students’ right university choice,” says Professor Werner Nau, dean in charge of the undergraduate education program. He sees two reasons, in particular, for the success: the dedicated supervision of international students and personalized learning units such as numerous practical courses that offer opportunities for hands-on experimentation and seminars accompanying tutorials.
Dr. Susanne Illenberger, coordinator of the Biochemistry and Cell Biology study program, is extremely happy that “our courses as a whole were so convincing”. For her, the most important aspect is that students and teaching staff share an atmosphere of continuous exchange founded on mutual trust and respect – not only in the course of teaching events, but also in regular advisory discussions. As Illenberger explains, “The better our awareness of our students’ interests, the better our ability to address them.” Here, the key focus is on motivating and inspiring students to develop their own experimental research strategies and teaching them the methods they need to realize them. “We have many alumni who, after their Bachelor, have gone on to study for Master degrees or doctorates at some of the world’s most prominent and long-established universities. Looking back, many of them say that it was here that they learned how to successfully realize their projects.”
High ratings also for psychology
As dean for diversity, Professor Arvid Kappas is particularly pleased about the renewed good performance of the psychology study program in the recent rankings. As Kappas reports, “This is a wonderful success, particularly in view of the fact that our Master Program in psychology will be beginning in the fall. The results emphasize the quality of our scientists in this discipline – not only in teaching, but also in research.”
“We inspire our students to have the courage to follow where their curiosity leads them,” says Professor Song Yan, coordinator of the psychology study program; “we closely accompany their exploration of human behavior with hands-on experience from the world of research and familiarize them with the use of scientific methods and approaches.” The latter is particularly important for a study program such as psychology, with its many links to everyday human life. “At the same time, curiosity is an essential driver of all kinds of research projects.” Yan is particularly pleased that, as the CHE rankings show, an unusually large proportion of research projects in psychology are supported by third-party funding: “This is an important measure of our academic reputation and shows that our research topics are at the cutting edge in their field.”
About the CHE rankings:
The CHE rankings are the most comprehensive and precisely detailed ratings list of institutes of higher education in the German-speaking countries. The CHE investigates more than 300 universities, colleges, and technical colleges. In addition to criteria such as courses, teaching quality, resources, and research, the rankings also gather feedback from students about studying at the various institutions. For many young people looking for a suitable university in Germany, the CHE report is by far one of the most important guides. More information about the CHE rankings can be found at www.zeit.de/ranking.