RWTH Aachen to be Honored With the DHV Seal of Approval


RWTH Aachen is the first German university to receive the seal of approval from the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (DHV) for its fair and transparent recruitment process for professorial staff.


“We are very pleased to receive this recognition. We take these processes very seriously and strive to continually improve them,” said Manfred Nettekoven, the Chancellor of RWTH Aachen University. According to the head of the university administration, “the appointment interview should be an expression of the university’s corporate culture.”

In the evaluation process, several factors, both “hard” and “soft,” were responsible for the university’s success: According to the reviewers, the appointment process is applicant-friendly and well-structured, and the negotiation period of about three to six months is comparatively short. The different stages of the process and their results are clearly and openly communicated, and there is a clear demarcation of roles and responsibilities between central and departmental units.

The negotiations with appointed professors are conducted in an appreciative manner, and they are finalized by the Chancellor himself. In the first hundred days, newly appointed professors as well as their partners and children are supported in several ways. Nettekoven explains, “We provide various family services, for example, and several members of staff assist new professors and support them in their integration into the university.”

The German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (DHV)

The DHV advises a large number of professorship candidates on appointment and retention negotiations. As Professor Dr. Bernhard Kempen, President of the DHV, emphasizes, "In the worldwide competition between universities for the brightest minds, the appointment process plays a central role.”

In the evaluation process for the seal of approval, the DHV draws on the experience and expertise of its advisors and conducts interviews with the professors of the university under consideration, asking them about their experience in the appointment process. The most important criteria in the evaluation process include fairness, appreciation, transparency, and reliability in the appointment and retention negotiations.