Reputation and German universities

The World 100 Reputation Network was represented at the THE European Universities Summit in Germany recently, where we took part in a session with German universities on reputation. W100 member Ellie Cook from the University of Bristol took part in the session, sharing her experience of building reputation with the global academic audience.

The session looked at data from the THE World University Rankings that showed German universities – there are currently 40 ranked in the top 200 – lagging well behind other institutions on both teaching and research reputation metrics.

Colleagues at Germany universities reported that they struggle to convince senior colleagues to take a strategic approach to reputation, and indeed to pay attention to rankings data.

Some elements of the German university system feed into this view – with little financial reliance on international student recruitment, and strong funding for research.

However, there is a growing awareness amongst some German colleagues that they are falling behind in the global reputation arms race, and that a positive reputation helps them achieve a wider range of strategic priorities beyond simply improving ranking position – a point emphasised by a colleague from an Austrian university who talked about their new focus on the employer brand to support global academic recruitment.

We will be following up with attendees at the session to encourage great engagement from Germany with the network. If any current members have strong partnerships with Germany universities, it would be interesting to know as we think about planning a future W100 engagement event in the future.