The CHE Centre for Higher Education is committed to a high quality and fair higher education system. Facing a continuous increase in participation in higher education, CHE supports higher education instutions to successfully deal not only with the growing number, but also with the growing diversity of students.

The CHE Centre for Higher Education was founded as a non-profit organisation in 1994 on the initiative of Reinhard Mohn, founder of the Bertelsmann Stiftung (left), and Professor Dr. Hans-Uwe Erichsen (right), President of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) at that time. The Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Stiftung zur Förderung der HRK (Foundation for the Promotion of the HRK) remain our Partners to this day.

Picture of Frank Ziegele, manager of CHEThe CHE has been managed as a non-profit organisation by Professor Dr. Frank Ziegele since 2008.

CHE decides autonomously and independently on which key areas and projects to address.

(Photo: David Ausserhofer)

The CHE Management is supported by an Advisory Board comprising leading national and international figures as well as representatives of the Partners.

The Advisory Board is made up of a representative from each of the Partners, as well as leading national and international figures with proven expertise in (higher) education policy, university governance or business management. Members of the Advisory Board are appointed for a term of two years by the Partner’s Meeting.

Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt

Präsident der HRK Hochschulrektorenkonferenz, Bonn

Prof. Dr. Holger Burckhart

Rektor der Universität Siegen

Dr. Ralph Heck

Vorstandsvorsitzender der Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gütersloh

Prof. Dr. Carsten Könneker

Geschäftsführer der Klaus-Tschira-Stiftung gGmbH, Heidelberg

Prof. Dr. Georg Krücken

Geschäftsführender Direktor, Internationales Zentrum für Hochschulforschung (INCHER), Kassel

Prof. Dr. Anne Lequy

Rektorin der Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal (Foto: Dawin Meckel/Ostkreuz)

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Antonio Loprieno

Präsident Jacobs University Bremen und Präsident des Verbundes der europäischen wissenschaftlichen Akademien (ALLEA)

Thomas May

Generalsekretär des Wissenschaftsrates, Köln

Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolff

Präsidentin der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Vizepräsidentin der HRK Hochschulrektorenkonferenz

(Foto Gerd Altmann / Pixabay)

We have always considered ourselves an independent, implementation-oriented think-tank, international in scope, with a primary focus on the German and European higher education system. We provide food for thought, foster innovation, and reflect on reform outcomes. Our considerations take into account international trends and experience. They are fleshed out and implemented in partnership and dialogue with experts and decision-makers from the worlds of research, administration and politics (most notably higher education institutions, research institutions, ministries, the EU, foundations and other NGOs). We are keen to make available convincing solutions, based on good practice, to a wide public.

We are committed to ensuring the ability to balance work and family life at higher education institutions (HEIs) and at CHE itself. In 2018, CHE committed itself to the goals of the “Family Life and Academia” Charta, and defined its own goals as follows:

  • Entrenching of family-friendly practices in the management culture
  • A systematic culture and the implementation of flexible trust-based working hours
  • Implementation of concrete family-oriented and health-promoting measures
  • Pooling of information and guidance on possibilities for support on family issues
  • Since it is ultimately the result that counts: a high proportion of employees, whether male or female, with family responsibilities as a measure of success

CHE is committed to achieving a highly competitive higher education system that is fair for all. Given the persistent trend to high participation higher education, CHE’s engagement seeks to ensure that HEIs are able to cope with growing student numbers and with the increasing diversity of their students.


Three Challenges take Centre Stage:

Using and Shaping Autonomy
HEIs should (further) develop and use their capacity to analyse and to take decisions and action at different levels so as to make full use of their opportunities in national and international competition. The framework set by the state must be designed in such a way that HEIs are able to act largely on their own responsibility.

Developing and Implementing Diverse Profiles
The academic system meets a variety of ever-changing societal functions. HEIS are faced with the challenge of having to offer differentiated services accordingly. To do this, they must develop and maintain a distinct identity. The different features and qualities of HEI profiles must be clear to students and society alike.

Assuming Social Responsibility
HEIs, ministries and parliaments should realise social needs straight away and respond adequately. The various stakeholders are interconnected, considering their responsibility to explore legitimate social and individual interests, and to keep on pursuing them in an ever-changing higher education system.