University of Helsinki’s ranking drops – why?

The University of Helsinki has placed 108th in the Times Higher Education Supplement's annual ranking. No other Finnish universities finished among the 200 best.

A group of international students

University of Helsinki has been ranked 108th in the annual top university ranking by the Times Higher Education Supplement. Last year, the ranking of the University of Helsinki was 91, which means a drop of 17 places.

Ikka Niiniluoto, Chancellor of the University of Helsinki, does not find the change in the ranking very dramatic.

“The University of Helsinki has had about the same ranking for a long time. In 2006, we were ranked 132nd and the year after that 100th. There are approximately 14,000 higher education institutions in the world, which means that in any case, we belong in the best percentile,” Niiniluoto points out. Reasons for the drop in the ranking include the high student/teacher ratio at the University of Helsinki and the relative scarcity of international researchers.

“The degree of internationality of our staff remained the same, but the relative ranking fell. This indicates that the competition is tighter,” explains Niiniluoto.

According to him, both factors are basically resource questions.

“More money would be needed for increasing the number of teachers. We are unable to compete with leading universities in the United States in wages offered to foreign researchers.”

The new Universities Act, taking effect at the beginning of next year, will slightly improve the situation by providing universities with more flexibility in their recruitment.

The Times Higher Education reviews universities as providers of education.

In Niiniluoto’s opinon, the ranking given to the University of Helsinki in the list produced by the Shanghai University is more important. The list weighs research more prominently, an area which the University of Helsinki invests heavily in.. On the most recent list, the University of Helsinki is ranked 68th. No other Finnish universities made the top 200 of the Times list.

Times Higher Education's list of the top 200 universities in the world » »
Among the best in university rankings » »

Text: Juha Merimaa
Photo: UH
9.10.2009
www.helsinki.fi/digitalcommunications

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy


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