Depending on the method of calculation used, there are approximately 18,000–23,000 universities in the world. On average, the University of Helsinki ranks among the top 100 universities globally, or the top 0.5 percentile.
There are approximately 4,000 universities in Europe. On average, the University of Helsinki ranks among the top 30 European universities, or the top percentile.
Only a handful of Nordic universities are ranked among the global top 100. On average, the University of Helsinki ranks among the top four Nordic universities.
Finland has 14 universities, of which the University of Helsinki is ranked the best in all key general rankings.
The THE University Impact Rankings assess how well universities are promoting sustainable development through their operations and carrying out their third mission, public engagement. The rankings are based on the Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN in 2016.
In 2020 the University of Helsinki was placed 80th in the world in the THE University Impact Rankings. The University of Helsinki was the most successful in the following individual indicators used in the rankings:
Discipline-specific rankings provide comparative information on the operations and reputation of universities in certain disciplines. If you wish to compare the quality of research at various universities in a certain discipline, such as atmospheric sciences or chemistry, a discipline-specific ranking may be a useful tool.
The classifications of disciplines used in the rankings are based on the groupings used by international scientific journals.
Discipline-specific citation numbers are calculated on the basis of the scientific journal where the article has been published. The faculty or unit within the university in question where the scholar works does not affect the ranking.
Discipline-specific rankings cannot be used to rate disciplines in order of excellence within a university.
This is because the number of researchers varies by discipline, and individual research areas are not pursued equally extensively by all universities in the world. Moreover, the faculties and discipline classifications of universities do not necessarily correspond to the groupings used in rankings.
There are roughly a dozen global general rankings, alongside which there are a number of global specific rankings. All rankings utilise different datasets and computational models. Below, we describe the indicators used by the five rankings which we monitor closely.
All rankings measure the amount of citations by other scholars to universities’ research publications. Citations are collected into various research databases.
In databases, research in the humanities and social sciences as well as research in languages other than English are underrepresented. Regardless, citations are a strong point for the University of Helsinki in all rankings.
The ShanghaiRanking, or the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), puts emphasis on the most successful researchers and the best-known publications.
ARWU is a fairly stable ranking, with the placement of individual universities fluctuating relatively little. In this ranking, the University of Helsinki has fared the best in the citation indexes and the ranking of highly cited researchers, while its poorest success has come in the indicators for Nobel Laureates and Fields Medalists.
There are also regional and discipline-specific rankings under ARWU.
ARWU, which is published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, was first released in 2003.
The reputation indicator of ARWU comprises two categories:
The University of Helsinki is awarded points for
The award indicators represent universities’ historical reputation and recognition. They are also meant to compensate for the fact that the ShanghaiRanking does not include a separate survey on university reputation.
ARWU uses the reference index of the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science database for ranking citations.
ARWU uses the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list to rank researchers with the most citations by fellow researchers. The list includes the most highly cited percentile from 22 different fields of science.
The list of highly cited researchers is in constant flux. If a researcher transfers to another university, they take the points awarded to them with them.
The purpose of this indicator is to even out the impact of differences in size among universities. This criterion also assumes that each teacher conducts research of as high a standard as possible.
You can read in more detail about the methodology used in this ranking on the ShanghaiRanking website.
The QS World University Rankings emphasise university reputation more than the other significant university rankings.
The QS World University Rankings are published by Quacquarelli Symonds, a commercial organisation. In their current form, the rankings were published for the first time in 2010.
Researchers of other universities and employers are asked about their opinions on universities in reputation surveys.
The reputation indicator of the QS rankings comprises two categories:
The QS rankings use Elsevier’s Scopus as their citation database.
In 2015 the methodology and scoring of the QS rankings were changed in a way that made them less favourable to the University of Helsinki.
This indicator is used to measure the quality of teaching.
The University of Helsinki has more students than, for example, many American top universities, regardless of which it fares relatively well in terms of this particular indicator.
The internationalisation indicator of the QS rankings comprises two categories:
You can read in more detail about the methodology used in this ranking on the QS World University Rankings website.
Times Higher Education (THE) bases its rankings on a diverse set of indicators.
THE's rankings are published by the Times Higher Education magazine. In their current form, the rankings have been published since 2010.
The teaching indicator of THE comprises five categories:
The research indicator of THE comprises three categories:
THE's rankings use Elsevier’s Scopus as its citation database.
In 2015 THE changed its citation database, which had a favourable effect on the University of Helsinki’s ranking. In the Scopus database, the humanities and social sciences are slightly more prominent than in the Web of Science database of Clarivate Analytics.
The internationalisation indicator of THE comprises three categories:
The ratio of the research income of universities from the private sector to academic staff. In this category, universities specialised in engineering sciences, economics and medicine fare better than multidisciplinary universities such as the University of Helsinki.
You can read in more detail about the methodology used in this ranking on the THE World University Rankings website.
NTU Ranking is based solely on bibliometric research indicators, or a range of ways used to calculate the number of scientific publications and their impact.
The strength of the ranking lies in its diverse array of indicators, which is why it is particularly well suited to ranking research-intensive universities. Due to the diversity of its indicators, some of which focus on the long term, the ranking is fairly stable.
In NTU Ranking, the University of Helsinki is the most successful in terms of the number of citations in the last 11 years and the h-index. The University of Helsinki’s placement is poorest in terms of the average numbers of citations in the last 11 years.
The ranking is published by National Taiwan University. It was first released in 2007.
The citation indicator of NTU Ranking comprises four categories:
The h-index is an indicator aimed at simultaneously assessing the publishing productivity of researchers and the impact of their publications. The h-index is database-specific, which means that the h-index of individual researchers can vary by database.
The article indicator of NTU Ranking comprises two categories:
NTU Ranking ranks highly cited articles on the basis of Clarivate Analytics’ Essential Science Indicators database, compiling roughly 11,500 key publications from different fields.
The ranking of highly cited articles presents the most highly cited percentile of articles in the last 11 years.
The ranking is based on the number of articles published in the current year in high-impact journals.
Publication impact is assessed using Clarivate Analytics’ Journal Citation Reports tool provided by InCites, which compares the number of articles’ citations and the number of articles in journals.
The impact of publications ranked in the top 5% in their field is considered significant.
You can read in more detail about the methodology used by this ranking on the NTU Ranking website.
The U.S. News Best Global Universities rankings emphasise indicators related to the number and impact of scientific publications, while also taking into consideration reputation and international collaboration.
The U.S. News rankings are the newest of the important global rankings. They were first published in 2014.
The citation indicator of the U.S. News rankings comprises six categories:
The reputation indicator of the U.S. News rankings comprises two categories:
The publication indicator of the U.S. News rankings comprises three categories:
The international collaboration indicator of the U.S. News rankings comprises two categories:
You can read in more detail about the methodology used in this ranking on the U.S. News Best Global Universities website.