A survey of the best 500 universities in the world shows Germany with only satisfactory marks. The country's two best still didn't make it into the top 50. US universities are still considered the world's most desirable.
Munich students found out their universities were ranked the best in Germany
According to the study "Academic Ranking of World Universities" conducted by Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, Germany's universities do not even make it into the top 50 of the best universities world-wide.
Munich's Ludwig Maximilians University reached 53rd place, followed by the Technical University of Munich at 56th.
"We want to be among the 25 best universities in the world, " LMU Dean Bernd Huber told the online version of the Welt newspaper. "Over the next 10 years we want to make a clear step towards this goal."
Other German universities in the top 100 were those in Heidelberg, Göttingen, Freiburg and Bonn.
"This is a good attestation of our ability to perform," Elmar König, a spokesman for the German Research Ministry, said of six German universities cracking the top 100.
American universities grabbed 17 of the places in the list's top 20. Harvard ranked number one, followed by Stanford and the University of California Berkeley.
Britain's Cambridge University earned a fourth place ranking, and Oxford took 10th.
41 in the top 500
Heidelberg's university made it into the top 100
Altogether, 41 German universities made it into the top 500 list. The Technical University in Germany's capital, Berlin, was ranked 240th.
The Jiao Tong University study primarily reviews a university's track record in the area of research to formulate its list of the world's best universities. In this year's survey, 197 of the 500 universities listed were American. Over 1,000 were reviewed in the fifth raking produced by Jiao Tong.
Jiao Tong University researchers look at how often scientists at particular universities have published in leading journals, how often they have been quoted and how many Nobel Prize winners a college produces.
Jiao Tong University itself received only a mid-range ranking.