Germany’s higher education institutions are using their new autonomy to develop their own identities and to expand beyond their traditional roles. Modern management tools are now commonplace at all administrative levels. Past challenges, however, have not diminished: Universities must welcome new target groups and learn to serve a more diverse student population. They need to make the most of the opportunities offered by online learning in order to meet a growing number of individual needs – at a time when the funding provided by Germany’s states is declining and government spending is being limited by law. In 1994, the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the German Rectors’ Conference founded the nonprofit Centre for Higher Education (CHE) as a means of encouraging and implementing change. CHE thus seeks to improve the quality, performance and diversity of higher education institutions in Germany and Europe. It collaborates with forward-looking partners to develop new ideas for the higher education system and formulate recommendations for decision makers. In addition, it works to enhance transparency in research and teaching, having introduced Europe’s most highly regarded university ranking, among other innovations. CHE also identifies examples of good practice and helps implement reforms, while taking a critical look at the risks, opportunities and outcomes of change processes. At the same time, it highlights the special contributions that higher education institutions make. Finally, as Europe creates a uniform university system, CHE continues to expand its network of international contacts and partnerships. CHE is headed by co-directors Prof. Frank Ziegele and Dr. Jörg Dräger.