Efforts towards sustainability and responsibility work lead to improved global ranking for University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki was ranked among the top 101–200 universities in the global Times Higher Education Impact Ranking. The University managed to improve its ranking even though the number of ranked institutions increased. The ranking assesses commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

The THE Impact Rankings measure how well universities promote sustainable development in their operations. 1,963 universities took part in the ranking in 2024, with the University of Helsinki improving its result and placing among the top 101–200.  

In Finland, University of Helsinki was ranked joint top. 

The ranking examines both the core duties – research, teaching and societal interaction – and individual operations of universities in relation to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. To participate, universities can provide data related to all SDGs. 

The University of Helsinki improved its ranking from last year in several goals. The highest of these came from goals 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions), 13 (Climate action), 12 (Responsible consumption and production), 14 (Life below water), and 11 (Sustainable cities and communities).  

The University of Helsinki ranked among the top 50 in five goals and among the top 100 in seven.   

Rankings reflect efforts towards sustainability and responsibility  

The results of the rankings are based on the work and measures carried out in 2022 and last year’s rankings result. The total result is therefore the average of this year’s and last year’s results. Long-term and interdisciplinary research is one of the University’s strengths, as the results show: research scores well in each of the 17 SDGs. In addition to research, efforts made in 2022 also affected the results.   

”In 2022, we promoted the University’s sustainability and responsibility work in many ways. For example, we published the University’s first sustainability and responsibility plan and started three strategic projects, through which we have been able to devote more effort to the University’s sustainability and responsibility work, the development of sustainability competences, and carbon neutrality work,” says Vice-Rector Anne Portaankorva.  

Also, the efforts towards open and diverse communications and societal interaction can be seen in the rankings result.  

Rankings results work as a tool for development  

Despite the improved rankings result, the University still has areas of development that merit better focus.  

”You can learn from the ranking result and use it to improve the areas where your performance is weaker. Rankings give concrete help for developing sustainability and responsibility work,” says Riina Koivuranta, Senior Specialist in Sustainable Development and Responsibility at the University. 

Based on last year’s results, the University developed, for example, sustainability reporting and implemented communication measures.  

The University of Helsinki participated in THE Impact Rankings for the fourth time. The University is also evaluated in the sustainability ranking of the QS World University Rankings, where it was last ranked 60 (1397 evaluated universities). 

Read more about sustainability and responsibility at the University of Helsinki.

Read university's Sustainability and  responsibility plan 2022-2024.

THE Impact Rankings 2024 results.