Potsdam/Berlin. The Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) has achieved outstanding results in a recent ranking of computer science programs at German universities. The well-known annual study conducted by the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE) designated the unique IT Systems Engineering program at HPI in the top category in four of five key criteria (general study conditions, support, IT infrastructure, research funds). Only in the fifth category, "reputation among professors," did the HPI miss out on the top spot. As HPI Director Prof. Christoph Meinel noted: "After only six years, our young institute has already achieved the fourth best result in the German-speaking world and the top ranking in the states of Berlin and Brandenburg." The computer science programs at Karlsruhe University, Paderborn University and Munich´s Technical University (TU) were the only other programs to receive better overall scores than the HPI.
This is the first year that the HPI, a university-affiliated institute funded entirely by private funds from its namesake, Hasso Plattner, has been evaluated as part of the CHE University Rankings. The results of the survey were published in the 2006/2007 Study Guide included in the prominent German-language weekly newspaper "Die Zeit". The Guide was issued on May 4, 2006. Up until this most recent survey, the computer science program at the University of Potsdam had been the only program evaluated in the Potsdam area. With the latest CHE ranking, the University of Potsdam was able to improve its ranking and advance to the middle group in the key criteria of study conditions, IT infrastructure and research funds.
The CHE has produced its annual university rankings since 1998. The survey is conducted in a systematic and scientific manner and provides an opportunity for all interested in pursuing studies in Germany to find the university or college best suited to them. The CHE is supported by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the University Rectors Conference. Each year, the CHE publishes its information, which deals with the 30 largest disciplines in academia, for both students and instructors. In 2005, universities and colleges from Austria and Switzerland were included for the first time in the rankings. This year, a total of more than 250,000 students and 31,000 professors were asked for their opinions on various criteria. In order to cover as many aspects of each study program as possible, the Centre for Higher Education Development created assorted measuring variables - up to 34 of such indices depending on the discipline. The final results are based on fact as well as on subjective judgments. According to a poll conducted by the University Information System (HIS), approximately 60 percent of first-year university students said they used the rankings to chose the institution best suited to them.