University of Helsinki in the top 100 in 23 fields

The University of Helsinki is seeing great success in a subject-specific ranking of the world’s top universities – 23 of its subject fields are in the top 100.

The University of Helsinki has improved its standing particularly in the just-published subject-specific QS World University Ranking by Subject. The QS ranking covers 42 subject fields, of which the University of Helsinki has teaching and research in 32.

All of these fields had considerable success, with the University rising to the top 100 in 23 of the 32 fields. Philosophy received the highest ranking (30), with dentistry (34), linguistics (43) and anthropology (44) being other successful fields in addition to communication and education, both of which were on the 50th position.

The University improved its ranking in 11 subject fields from last year. Six subjects fell in the ranking. Other subjects maintained their positions from the previous year.

Among Finnish universities, the University of Helsinki was deemed the best in 28 subjects and the second best in the remaining 4.


The ranking includes more than 4,000 universities around the world. As curricula and disciplines vary from one university to the next, it is difficult to directly compare universities.

“Look at the score percentiles in the university-specific tables when comparing universities in the ranking. The percentile takes the number of universities which have the subject in question into account," explains Markku Javanainen from the University of Helsinki.

In terms of score percentiles, the University of Helsinki top 10 subject fields are philosophy, social policy, linguistics, modern languages, education, biological sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics, medicine and communication.

“It should also be borne in mind that QS uses its own subject categorisation which is based on the classification of journals in the Scopus database. This categorisation does not completely cover the University's disciplines,” Javanainen points out.

The QS ranking is based on academic publications and their citation indices as well as a survey sent to approximately 76,000 researchers and 44,000 employers.

University of Helsinki subjects with score percentiles of 90 % or more

Philosophy 94%
Social policy 94%
Linguistics 93%
Education 93%
Modern languages 93%
Environmental science 92%
Mathematics 92%
Biological sciences 92%
Communication 91%
Medicine 91%

The score percentile describes both the success of the subject in the ranking as well as how commonly the subject is taught and researched at universities