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Reputation Halo in Germany

VU International News and Reviews No. 112 May 7 2018

May 2018

Studies with relevance to the internationalisation of higher education can be found where least expected: the Journal for Institutional and Theoretical Economics (founded in 1844!!) published an article by Mira Fischer on the spill-over effect of research excellence on the perception of students of the quality of their education.

In a highly quantitative approach using a three-year survey among 37 000 students at 33 Higher Education Institutions in Germany, the author shows the impact of an award of a research excellence label like the German “Excellence Initiative” changes. Universities that have been awarded such a prestigious research label, are – controlling for all other factors – seen as offering better education by students and high school students. Better education and better job prospects, just by a research label. After a few years, when the award of the research label is further in the past, students’ ratings of educational quality return to the previous level, even when the research label is still valid.

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