The University of Helsinki boosts its standing in rankings

The University of Helsinki placed 78th in the recent QS ranking of higher education, up eleven places from last year.

The University of Helsinki boosts its standing in rankings

The recently published QS World University Rankings evaluates universities along several criteria, including reputation among academics and employers as well as inputs into research, teaching and internationalisation.

The University of Helsinki performed well on most metrics. Its score benefited from an improved teacher-student ratio and greater number of international staff. Furthermore, the University’s reputation among employers was clearly up. Only the number of citations dropped slightly from the previous ranking.

Markus Laitinen, Head of International Affairs, pinpoints consistency as one of the University’s strengths. Though reputation-oriented rankings are prone to fluctuations, the University of Helsinki performs well by nearly any indicator.

“We produce high-quality research on a wide front and have no real weaknesses,” Laitinen remarks.

In Laitinen’s view the challenges now relate to communicating the University’s strengths and building its profile.

The humanities at the forefront

In terms of faculty area, the humanities were the University’s best performers, placing 68th on the international list.

According to Anna Mauranen, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, the success springs from an exceptionally diverse range of disciplines and a clear profile. A historical perspective, global reach as well as language and translation technology thrive side by side.

Mauranen neither clamours for “soft humanities” nor hesitates to press for cooperation with the more technological disciplines. There is room for every field.

“We have a few spearhead disciplines, and the rest are free to evolve. There needs to be room for new growth – how else could language technology have emerged,” Mauranen states.

Mauranen acknowledges the importance of rankings, especially when recruiting students and staff. Nevertheless, the Faculty of Arts does not rely on reputation alone.

“Results come first,” she affirms. “Stellar results always put you in a strong position.”

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Text: Jaakko Belt
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro
University of Helsinki, digital communications

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