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Times Higher Education Ranking 2020

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz, Blick von Norden  Link öffnet eine vergrößerte Darstellung des Bildes.
© Andreas Heddergott

LMU Munich top of the class

(Sept 12, 2019) Times Higher Education's World University Rankings 2020 have once again singled out the LMU Munich as the best German university. The LMU also maintains its worldwide ranking in 32nd place from the prior year, while the Technical University of Munich (TUM) edges one place higher to 43rd slot.

Strong performance by German universities

In the ranking tables, the two Munich universities are followed directly by the University of Heidelberg in 44th place – three places higher than last year. Other German universities in the top 100 include Berlin's Humboldt University (74th) and the medical faculties of the Berlin Charité (80th). Freiburg (86th), Tübingen (91st) and RWTH Aachen (99th) likewise make the cut. Overall, a total of 23 universities in the top 200 once again make Germany the third-best performer on the list, behind the USA and the UK.


Munich's universities of excellence

Both the LMU and the TUM were again able to attract funds from the German federal and regional governments in 2019, maintaining their pre-eminent position as universities of excellence.

These funds are channeled into four research clusters that the two universities are advancing on a collaborative basis: the Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM), the Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich (CIPSM), the Munich Center for Advanced Photonics (MAP) and the Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy).

The LMU also runs a series of projects of excellence and post-graduate programs in areas such as the neurosciences, biology, studies of antiquity and Eastern and Southern European studies.

At the TUM, focal areas of research include the reorientation of engineering courses around the concept of “human-centered engineering”, the further large-scale expansion of humanities and the social sciences, and the launch of interdisciplinary institutes for technology design, data science and lifelong learning. The Munich Center for Technology in Society (MCTS), which concentrates on the interface between engineering and society, is likewise to be ramped up.


International findings of the THE rankings

For the fourth year in a row, Oxford University came top of the 2020 university rankings. Second place went (for the first time) to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), which leapfrogged Cambridge University in third place. These top three are followed by Stanford (4th) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (5th).

The World University Rankings 2020 rate universities from a total of 92 countries. Newcomers to the study include Cuba, Malta, Puerto Rico and Vietnam. China achieved strong placings this year with its Tsinghua (23rd) and Peking Universities (24th).

The THE rankings use a variety of criteria to assess universities. Scientists from around the globe are quizzed about the universities' reputation for research and tuition, for example. Also included are the number of publications per academic, the number of citations per publication, the ratio of teachers to students, income acquired from industry and each university's international outlook.