FAU offers a great start for new students

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Bild: FAU/Kurt Fuchs

University again achieves top scores for its services for new students in the CHE Ranking for 2021

FAU has once again performed excellently in the Centre for Higher Education’s (CHE) ranking for 2021. The University scored particularly well in the category of support for new students in the subjects biology, chemistry, geography, geosciences, computer science, mathematics, pharmacy, physics, politics and social sciences, as well as sport and sport science.

The transition from school to higher education is a life-changing experience – whether it’s due to new surroundings, new friends or a new city. New students have many new things to deal with. FAU makes sure its new students feel at home with its wide range of services for new students: The University’s ‘frisch!’ magazine for new students (www.fau.info/frisch-an-der-FAU), for example, provides an entertaining overview to its newest members of everything FAU has to offer. Pub crawls, meet ups with mentors or evenings at the pub are now being held online due to the coronavirus pandemic, as are individual consultations and games evenings. It’s small wonder that the subjects evaluated at FAU received top marks for the category of support for new students. Further information about what’s on offer for new students is available on our website: https://www.fau.de/semesterstart/. Almost all FAU subjects in the ranking received excellent rankings in the category for the number of students completing their (Bachelor’s) degree programme within a reasonable amount of time. There was also praise for the services offered by the University Library, whether this was the up-to-dateness of the print media or the availability of literature for degree programmes.

About the ranking

The Centre for Higher Education (CHE) collects data for its university ranking once a year. One third of the subjects are re-evaluated each time. 150,000 students are interviewed and more than 300 universities are analysed for the ranking. This year’s ranking examined biology, chemistry, geography, geosciences, computer science, mathematics, medicine, pharmacy, physics, politics and social sciences, sport (science) and dentistry. The entire CHE ranking is available online at www.zeit.de/che-ranking.

The subjects at a glance


The physics degree programme scored particularly well this year , achieving excellent ratings in 11 categories – overall study situation, supervision, study organisation, courses offered, support during studies, library, support during stays abroad, research orientation, laboratory courses, support for new students, completion of the degree programme within a reasonable amount of time (Bachelor’s degree). In addition, the physics degree programme scored well in terms of the individual support provided to students and its laboratory courses, especially the electronics laboratory course.

Image: Uwe Niklas

Chemistry and Pharmacy

Chemistry and pharmacy scored well, mainly due to the new Chemikum building that provides a modern learning environment and enables students to participate in laboratory courses in research laboratories from an early stage in their studies. Chemistry scored well most notably in the categories of teaching subject knowledge and methods and study organisation. Pharmacy received good ratings in the categories for overall study situation, rooms, IT infrastructure and equipment in the laboratories.


Studierende mit Helmen an Felswand
Image: Axel Munnecke

In the survey, this degree programme scored well in terms of study organisation and the support provided to new students. Students gave above-average scores to the field trips where they can apply their theoretical knowledge in practice, starting from how they are organised up to the subject-related support offered and their affordability.


Geography ranked very highly in the courses offered, resources at the library, rooms, IT infrastructure, research orientation, and advice on careers. The strong practical focus is demonstrated, for example, in the ‘Teaching research’ and ‘Research workshop’ Master’s modules where students work in small teams over the course of two semesters on a research topic that is usually based on ongoing research at the Institute.


In addition to the categories regarding rooms, IT infrastructure, study organisation, resources at the library, and support offered to new students, students of mathematics gave good scores to supervision by lecturers, highlighting the positive social climate, as well as lecturers’ teaching skills and ability to give feedback.

Sport Science

This degree programme ranked very highly in supervision, support during studies, and for advice on careers. Students gave an excellent rating to the social climate between students and lecturers and the teaching skills of lecturers.

Computer Science

Computer Science excelled in terms of the support provided to new students, the number of publications per researcher and the number of doctoral degrees per professor.

Further information:

Amelie Feder

Data and Management Information