These days, there are rankings for all the areas in which the University of St.Gallen operates: teaching, research and executive education. There are a great number of university rankings which examine different elements. Some rankings limit themselves to individual curricula and disciplines, while others take into consideration the universities in their entirety. In addition, they can be divided up in geographical terms: there are rankings for the German-speaking, European and global areas. What they understand by quality and by education covers a wide field and varies. For this reason, the HSG’s ranking strategy concentrates on a selection on the basis of the following criteria:
- the quality of the ranking,
- whether it fits the University,
- its significance for the University and
- the work involved and the costs incurred by data collection.
The focus is on three rankings:
- for degree courses, the Financial Times ranking;
- for executive education, also the Financial Times ranking;
- for German-language degree courses, the CHE ranking;
- for research, the Handelsblatt ranking.
There are numerous other rankings which fail to make any sense for the University of St.Gallen: for instance, rankings which compare comprehensive universities with small specialised universities like the HSG. In those cases it happens that the HSG comes off badly because it does not offer all the disciplines. Then there are rankings that are geared to natural science or medical faculties, which are not represented at the HSG. Furthermore, there are rankings which are problematical for methodological reasons; the HSG refrains from active participation in such rankings. However, there are also rankings which compare universities with each other without their active involvement.
For the University of St.Gallen, rankings are an opportunity to monitor quality and to receive an external assessment. However, they should not become an end in themselves, and this is why the HSG has set clear objectives in this area. In the ranking of the Financial Times, it wants to number among the ten best business universities in Europe, and in the CHE and Handelsblatt rankings it wants to be among the top three in the German-speaking area.