German universities among world’s best for science subjects, study finds

German universities among world's best for science subjects, study finds
File photo: DPA.
In a new global ranking of higher education institutions released on Tuesday, German universities ranked among the world’s very best, performing particularly well in the sciences.

In the fourth annual edition of the 2018 U.S. News Best Global Universities ranking, Germany came in fifth place overall; 58 German universities made the list of a total of 1,250 institutions across 74 countries worldwide.

The U.S. placed first with 221 institutions on the list, followed by China, Japan and the UK, respectively.

But another indicator of country performance is how well it did in terms of subject rankings.

Germany did well in this area too, coming out in fourth place overall with the highest number of ranked universities in the subject specific category – 6.8 percent of the total number of ranked schools of 22 determined subjects.

In the ranking’s subject specific category, which include 6,800 institutions worldwide, the U.S. was the top-performing country (25.3 percent), followed by the UK (7.8 percent) in second place and China (7.4 percent) in third.

German universities moreover managed to get into the top five in almost all of the subjects included – 18 subjects of the 22 subjects in total.

But what is especially noteworthy is how well Germany fared in terms of its institutions’ science subjects.

For the neuroscience and behaviour subject ranking, for instance, Germany had the second-highest number of ranked universities with 25 institutions on the list. Only the US fared better in this subject, with 70 institutions.

Germany also had the second-highest number of ranked universities in five other subjects: physics (46 universities), biology and biochemistry (38 universities), molecular biology (22 universities), immunology (19 universities) and microbiology (17 universities).

The country furthermore had the third-highest number of ranked universities in several other subjects: chemistry, geosciences, pharmacology and toxicology, plant and animal science, psychiatry and psychology, social science and public health, space science and the arts and humanities.

Other subjects which Germany fared well in include clinical medicine, environment and ecology, materials science and mathematics.

“The schools that rank the highest in the Best Global Universities rankings are those that emphasize academic research, including by partnering with international scholars to produce highly cited articles,” said Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News.

The annual ranking aims to provide insight into how universities compare globally since an increasing number of students are enrolling in universities abroad, U.S. News said.

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