University of Helsinki the best Finnish university on the Shanghai list

The University of Helsinki was ranked 72nd in the Shanghai Jiao Tong academic rankings of world universities released last Wednesday.

University of Helsinki’s Main Building

Its position remained unchanged from last year. Over the long term, the University of Helsinki’s ranking has remained stable. UH has always been ranked among the 69 to 76 best universities on the list, which has been published since 2003.

Vice-Rector Ulla-Maija Forsberg is pleased with the ranking.

“The method used in the Shanghai ranking is fairly rigid. Changes happen slowly,” Forsberg points out.

One of the factors taken into account is Nobel Prizes. The University of Helsinki still received points for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to A.I. Virtanen in 1945.

In the comparisons of different disciplines, the University of Helsinki fares well in biosciences and agricultural and forestry research as well as in medicine. In both fields, the University of Helsinki was ranked among the top one hundred.

Of individual sciences, the University of Helsinki made it to the top one hundred in physics.

“This was to be expected. These are all fields where we have scientists that are among the most frequently cited,” Forsberg says.

The ranking does not take arts and humanities into account. As a former Dean for the Faculty of Arts, Forsberg believes that were these disciplines also included, the University of Helsinki would be ranked even higher.

“For example, the Times Higher Education ranking placed the University of Helsinki Faculty of Arts 52nd,” Forsberg says.

The university ranking published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University lists the 500 best universities in the world based on their research output. For seven years running, Harvard has topped the ranking. In addition to American universities, the top ten includes two British universities, Cambridge (5th) and Oxford (10th).

The highest-ranking university outside the English speaking world was the University of Tokyo, which was ranked 20th. The University of Helsinki was the 15th best university with a language other than English as the main language of study.

Other Finnish universities to make the ranking were the University of Oulu and the University of Turku, which were ranked among the 300–400 category and the Aalto University, University of Eastern Finland and the University of Jyväskylä, ranked among the 400–500 category.

The complete Academic World Ranking of Universities » »

Text: Juha Merimaa
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

Translation: AAC Gobal

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