Besides teaching, research represents the second main task of geography departments at a university. Excellent research requires well educated scientists – the training of young talented researchers is therefore a key priority for us and consequently we will start a Masters Studies programme in “Economic Geography” in the winter semester of 2011/2012. The research at the Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography at the Leibniz University Hanover has – based on neutral observers’ judgments – a specific profile which cannot be found at any other university in Germany.
The scientific commission for research evaluation in Lower Saxony praised Hanover’s Economic Geography in its most recent survey: ”Human Geography is superbly represented in Hanover by its excellent Economic Geography unit. By having two professors Hanover’s Economic Geography is unique in its state.” (Research evaluation of Lower Saxony’s Universities and Research Institutes, Geography, Results and Recommendations 2005). Starting in the winter semester of 2011/2012 we will even have a third professorship for economic geography (“Junior Professor”).
The CHE-University Ranking is the most comprehensive ranking of fields of studies and locations within the German speaking regions. It is conducted by a neutral, third party organization and is part of the weekly newspaper “Die Zeit”. Besides the quality of education also the quality of research is assessed in this ranking. The Geography Department in Hanover, not differentiating between human and physical geography, ranks average among the departments in Germany for most of the four indicators on research quality. Amongst the geography departments in Northern Germany, however, Hanover is a leading location in most of the cases. Comparative advantages are seen in the close ties between research and training of students as well as the research reputation.
Flyer: CHE Hochschulranking 2009 (only in German)
There are further ways to objectively evaluate the quality of research. The number of research projects funded by third parties (e.g. German Research Foundation, VW-Foundation, European Commission), as well as the number of publications in renowned international journals are two very important indicators. In both cases the scientific community, openly or anonymously, appraise the ideas presented by the scientists of our department. A listing of research projects funded by third parties and the publications in referenced English scientific journals can be found fully documented and up to date on this website.