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University of Helsinki leads Finnish contingent on World University Rankings

The University of Helsinki found itself in 98th place on the World University Rankings 2021 by Times Higher Education.Linda Tammisto

The University of Helsinki clinched a place in the top 100 with an overall score of 62.1 to lead a contingent of nine Finnish universities in the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2021.

The 98th-ranked university performed especially well in citations, an indicator of a university’s capacity to spread new knowledge and ideas, scoring 88.9 points out of 100.

Aalto University was the only other member of the contingent to break into the top 250 of the World University Rankings. The Espoo-based university received an overall score of 50.6–54.2 mainly due to its performance in citations and, especially, international outlook, an indicator of a university’s ability to attract students and faculty from outside its country of domicile.

Aalto University was applauded for its ability to attract students and faculty from outside Finland. Image: Unto Rautio

The ranking follows the news that the European Research Council recently awarded grants to a total of five researchers from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University in the early stages of their career.

Elsewhere, the University of Oulu and Tampere University were ranked in the 301–350 band, the University of Turku and Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT University) in the 351–400 band, the University of Jyväskylä and University of Eastern Finland in the 401–500 band, and Åbo Akademi University in the 601–800 band.

Jari Hämäläinen, the vice rector for research at LUT University, pointed out that the university managed to improve its ranking significantly despite intensifying global competition, largely due to a “significant” year-on-year improvement in its score for citations.

“The number of scientific publications has traditionally been a key performance indicator to universities,” said Hämäläinen. “Nowadays, however, the emphasis is on impact, and citations are a way to measure that. This ranking result shows that our impact in the international science community has increased,” he continued.

The top 10 of the 1 500-university ranking was made up by universities from the UK and US.

By: Aleksi Teivainen