University of Helsinki among very best in an international university ranking

The departments of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Physics, Chemistry as well as the Department of Mathematics and Statistics ranked high in a ranking of European universities.

University of Helsinki among very best in an international university ranking

The latest university ranking by the German Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung (CHE) research institute evaluated the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics. The University of Helsinki is the only Finnish university in the ranking and it reached the Excellence category in all subject areas evaluated this time.

The CHE ranking is not as media sexy as, for example, the Shanghai or the Times Higher Education university rankings, because the universities are not placed in order of superiority.

- Inclusion in the CHE ranking is more a signal of belonging to the top group, says Markus Laitinen, Director of International Affairs in the University of Helsinki.

Research merits, such as scientific articles, major awards and grants as well as international mobility of researchers and students were the criteria emphasised in the preliminary selection. After the preliminary selection, the focus turned to teaching. The aim of the evaluation is to provide those choosing a place for a master's degree or postgraduate studies with information on the degree programmes and research groups of high quality educational institutions.

Tools for internationalisation and development of studies

Keijo Hämäläinen, the Dean of the Faculty of Science, is extremely proud of the results. However, the success of the faculty in the preliminary selection did not come as a surprise.

- Success in the evaluation creates a good basis for recruiting international master’s and doctoral degree students, Hämäläinen notes.

The faculty has also put a great deal of effort into developing teaching. According to the Dean, the student-oriented evaluation provides valuable feedback for everyone who participates in the development work.

- A detailed analysis will be conducted on the basis of development targets revealed by the student interviews, says Hämäläinen.

In all, 4,000 European universities and higher education institutions are included in the CHE university ranking. In 2009, the CHE Excellence Ranking evaluated the fields of psychology, social sciences and economics with the University of Helsinki reaching the Excellence category on the first two. The university is in the Excellence category in six of the seven disciplines evaluated in 2009 and 2010. Only 11 other universities reached the Excellence category in as many or more disciplines.

Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung » »

CHE Excellence Ranking 2010 results » »

Text: Milla Karvonen
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro
Translation: AAC Global

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