Finnish universities rise in international university rankings

The University of Helsinki placed 103rd in the new Times Higher Education World University ranking (THE). Seven Finnish universities are now ranked among the global top 400.

The University of Helsinki ranked 103rd in the THE ranking this year, down from 100 last year. The University of Helsinki is the only Finnish university to rank among the leading 200 universities in the world. Seven Finnish universities were listed among the global top 400 in this ranking. Aalto University was in the 251–275 range, the Lappeenranta University of Technology in the 276–300 range, and the universities of Jyväskylä and Tampere ranked in the top 350. The University of Eastern Finland and the University of Turku ranked in the 351–400 range.  The exact ranking is only indicated for the top 200 universities.

The top of the Times Higher Education ranking was dominated by universities from the Anglo-American sphere: The California Institute of Technology, Harvard and Oxford. The highest-ranking university outside the English-speaking world was ETH Zürich (13th) in Switzerland.

Annual changes in the ranking are typically minor, but the strong rise of Asian universities is becoming very apparent. Six Asian universities were ranked in the top 50.

Students follow the rankings

According to Head of Services Rebekka Nylund of the University of Helsinki’s Admissions Services, some international students use such university rankings as a criterion when applying for studies in Helsinki. However, the phenomenon has not been officially studied.

“Applicants rarely ask us about it directly,” says Nylund. ”Although they may have looked into it before they even contact us.”

“The quality of the education and the reputation of the university are of course significant, but what is even more important is that the programme is interesting,” Nylund adds.

Parents, friends, academic advisors and teachers also play a major role when students decide where to study.

In some countries, a university’s ranking may determine whether a student qualifies for a student loan, or whether the studies can even be recognised in his or her home country. For example, the University of Helsinki is the only Finnish university to rank so highly in all university comparisons that studies completed here are directly recognised in Russia.

Times Higher Education World University Ranking Results 2014-2015

Read more: "University of Helsinki 67th in the QS University Rankings (17.9.2014)

Read more: "Helsinki again in the top 100 in the Shanghai ranking" (15.8.2014)