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University rankings serve to evaluate the quality of research and science at universities as well as the development of the faculty. While some rankings develop lists with single ranking positions, other rankings simply group universities into different levels.
Since 1998, the German Accreditation Council has reviewed and evaluated agencies to accredit them with the overall goal of quality assurance. These accredited agencies in turn accredit Bachelor and Master degree programs that have launched within the scope of the so-called "Bologna Declaration".
When a new study program is developed, the university files a petition for accreditation and submits a self-documentation in line with the standards of the accreditation agency. A team of expert reviewers, usually comprised of professors and students from other universities as well as business professionals, reviews the self-documentation and conducts an on-site visit. These visits typically include interviews with the dean, the program chair, students and professors. Upon the review, the team of experts compiles a report and provides a recommendation either in favor or against the accreditation, or for an accreditation with additional requirements. The university receives the report without the recommendation and can comment on it. Finally, the agency's accreditation commission decides based on the expert reviewers’ report and the university's commentary whether or not to accredit the study program.