The University of Freiburg’s excellence in the areas of research and teaching is regularly reflected in various national and international university rankings. As one of the five best comprehensive universities and one of the ten best universities in Germany, the University of Freiburg is a member of the LERU (League of European Research Universities) and the German U15. In order to continue the success of the Excellence Initiative to date, the University is also applying for the federal government’s subsequent excellence strategy.
In the current World Universities Ranking of THE (Times Higher Education) 2024, the University of Freiburg ranks 128th worldwide and 11th nationally. The University of Freiburg stands out in particular in the “Industry” category, where it reached 100 out of a possible 100 points. This is assessed on the basis of industry income and patents performance indicators. Industry income rates performance in knowledge transfer, specifically through innovations, inventions and consultancy. The patents metric evaluates performance in technology transfer and measures the number of patents citing research published by an institution.
The THE ranking is based on an education supplement of the British daily newspaper The Times and has been carried out worldwide since 2004. The ranking is based on 18 criteria.
Every year, the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings (THE Impact Rankings) investigate the impact of higher education institutions worldwide on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. This year, the University of Freiburg ranks 65th out of 735 for “SDG 13 – Climate Action,” placing it in the top ten percent worldwide. In a Germany-wide comparison, the University of Freiburg ranks second for SDG 13
The QS World University Ranking currently lists the University of Freiburg as the ninth best German university (fifth best comprehensive university, ranked 192th internationally, QS World University Rankings 2024). The British agency Quacquarelli Symonds conducted the THE ranking from 2004 to 2010 and has published its own ranking since 2010. It now includes more than 1,000 universities worldwide.
In a nationwide comparison with 47 other universities, the University of Freiburg takes fourth place in the overall ranking of the “QS World University Ranking: Sustainability 2024“.
The ranking “QS World University Ranking: Sustainability” evaluates universities worldwide with regard to their sustainability work in research, teaching and society in an overall ranking as well as according to three categories: “Social Impact”, “Environmental Impact” and “Governance”.
The University of Freiburg scored particularly highly for ‘Environmental Impact’, taking first place in Germany in this category, and 55th place internationally. It received exceptionally high ratings in ‘Environmental Education’ and ‘Environmental Research’, with the former in particular gaining the highest score throughout Germany for the University of Freiburg. QS considered indicators on universities’ academic reputation with regard to the environment, the influence of alumni in the field of ecological sustainability in both the public and Third Sectors, and their range of courses covering sustainability/climate issues.
The University of Freiburg also performed well in ‘Environmental Research’, where it received the third-highest score in Germany. This category includes a range of indicators measuring the impact of research in the relation to the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), as well as on national statistics about the outcomes for research and development, and the presence of research centres with a focus on ecological sustainability.
In the category of ‘Social Impact’, the University of Freiburg took 7th place nationally and shared 145th place internationally, scoring especially highly in the field of ‘Health and Wellbeing’ – third-highest in Germany. This includes indicators on health provisions on campus, the impact of research on relevant SDGs, and the results in national statistics on quality of life.
Ranked against almost 1400 universities worldwide, the University of Freiburg shares 94th place, putting it in the international Top 100 for the first time. Last year, the University of Freiburg was listed in the 221-240 group.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Ranking, the University of Freiburg ranks fifth in a Germany-wide comparison. Worldwide, the ranking places it among the 101-150 best universities (the ranking does not allow a more precise breakdown). Since 2003, this ranking lists universities compared on the basis of six indicators. The ranking focuses on research.
The Centre for Higher Education, CHE for short, has published its ranking for master’s degree programs in 2022/23. The topic areas of engineering and psychology were recently updated. The University of Freiburg belongs to the top group in several assessment points in the fields of electrical engineering and information technology as well as psychology.
The ranking evaluates master’s programs across Germany based on quantitative indicators of research strength, and a student survey. The universities are divided into the top, middle or bottom group for each criterion.
In the field of electrical engineering and information technology, the University of Freiburg scores particularly well in the criteria “publications per scientist,” “research funds per scientist,” “citations per publication” and “doctorates per professor,” and is one of the top universities in Germany in these categories. In the field of psychology, the University of Freiburg is also in the top group in the categories “publications per scientist” and “doctorates per professor.”
The CHE ranking is based on a survey of master’s students in which respondents can evaluate up to eight criteria, depending on the subject, including the general study situation, the range of courses offered and the organization of studies. The CHE also collects research-based indicators such as “research funds per scientist” or “citations per publication”.
This year’s CHE rankings for master’s programs examined the following subjects: psychology and engineering sciences, which include electrical and information engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering/construction, mechanical engineering, biotechnology, chemical engineering/applied chemistry, process engineering, materials engineering/material science and environmental engineering.
The University of Freiburg ranks ninth among German universities in terms of the acquisition of DFG third-party funding in the current German Research Foundation Funding Atlas (DFG). After adjustment by research field and size of institution, the University of Freiburg even ranks third on this indicator among all German universities. The DFG awarded a total of around 9.48 billion euros in research funding in the period 2017 to 2019. It is the largest provider of university research funding and is a self-governing body. DFG research grants are considered an expression of research excellence due to the predominantly research-driven and competitively organized approval procedures. As approval is contingent on regular positive peer evaluation, the grants are regarded as proof of particularly high competitiveness. In the 2019 fiscal year, DFG funding accounted for 42 percent of the total amount of third-party funding raised at the University of Freiburg (including the University Medical Center).
The ranking of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation shows where in Germany international visiting scholars conducted research on fellowships or awards from the foundation in the past five years. To avoid statistical biases arising from the different sizes of the host institutions, the ranking puts the stays in relation to the number of professorships at the respective institution.
Starting with the 2023 edition, the ranking considers higher education institutions (universities, universities of applied sciences, universities of music and art) separately from non-university research institutes and other institutions for better comparability.
- Press release: New Humboldt Ranking: University of Freiburg in Top 10
The company Clarivate Analytics identifies the Highly Cited Researchers by analysing the most frequently cited papers in the Web of Science literature database. The list ranks the authors of research papers that are among the top one percent in their field in the Web of Science citation index. For 2023, the survey considered papers that were published and cited in the period from January 2012 to December 2022. In total, the list includes more than 6,800 researchers from more than 1,300 institutions across 67 countries and regions.
Das Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) der niederländischen Universität Leiden hat die Ergebnisse des Universitätsrankings 2021 veröffentlicht. Das Ranking vergleicht weltweit Hochschulen hinsichtlich ihrer wissenschaftlichen Leistung anhand der veröffentlichten Paper und Reviews aus dem Zeitraum 2016 bis 2019. Deutschlandweit rangiert die Universität Freiburg, gewertet nach der Gesamtzahl der Publikationen, auf Platz 11, im Themenbereich „Biomedical and health sciences“ (Biomedizin und Gesundheitswissenschaften) befindet sie sich auf Platz 6. Bei diesem Wissenschaftsfeld schneidet Freiburg auch im europäischen Vergleich mit mehr als 400 Universitäten gut ab und rangiert auf Platz 48.
Darüber hinaus bemisst die Rangliste den Anteil von Freiburger Publikationen, die zu den zehn Prozent der am häufigsten zitierten Publikationen innerhalb eines Fachgebiets in Deutschland gehören. Hier belegt die Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in den „Biomedical and health sciences“ Rang 3, in den „Life and earth sciences“ (Lebenswissenschaften und Geowissenschaft) Rang 6. Themenübergreifend rangiert Freiburg auf Platz 7.
- Press release: Top placements in the CWTS Leiden Ranking
Dr. Christian Jehle
Overall Planning for Strategy and University Development
Consultant for Benchmarking and Rankings