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University of Turku in International University Rankings

On this page, we illustrate our University's yearly progress in international university rankings, starting with understanding what different rankings are based on and giving some numerical examples, followed by generic and specialised rankings.

Universities across the world are evaluated in different international rankings each year. The University of Turku is among the top of the world’s universities in most rankings and among the best universities in the world in certain fields. In addition, the University of Turku is often ranked as the third best university in Finland.

What are university rankings?

The original idea behind international university rankings rose from the need to compare universities on a global scale. Nowadays, there are many ranking lists comparing universities using different indicators. All rankings are unique, as they use different kinds of indicators or they weigh similar indicators differently. Most rankings evaluate research publications – their number and, for example, citations they get in other researcher’s publications. Criteria may also include international outlook, external funding, faculty/student ratio, or the university's reputation among researchers and employers. Usually, the overall score of a university is determined by combining its scores in different indicators. In addition to world university rankings, also subject specific, scientific or region-based rankings are published.

When evaluating research publications, the rankings typically measure only the number and citations of English-language publications. While this definitely makes it harder for universities from non-English-speaking countries to reach the top positions, the importance and significant impact rankings have on the international reputation and public image of universities remains untouched. Universities often compete with other universities both locally and internationally. The University of Turku actively monitors its performance in different rankings and continuously strives to improve its position year after year.

We strongly advise our students, researchers and employees to do extensive research before choosing their place of study or employment. While there are many prestigious rankings out there, university position in these rankings should not be the sole reason when choosing which universities to apply to.

University rankings in a nutshell

As with most rankings out there – the higher the rank of a university, the better. Why? Because having a high and prestigious ranking can help universities to attract top class talent and to build partnerships with other institutions and organisations.

The oldest and one of the most famous university rankings is the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), published annually since 2003. Other famous rankings include QS World University Rankings, THE World University Rankings, THE Impact Rankings, NTU Ranking, U.S. News Best Global Universities Ranking, The Center for World University Rankings, and CWTS Leiden Ranking. Interestingly, all rankings primarily measure the research performance of universities rather than their teaching, using different source materials and methodologies.

Latest Placings of the University of Turku

  • QS World University Rankings: 315
  • THE World University Rankings: 301-350
  • THE Impact Ranking: 401-600
  • Academic Ranking of World Universities: 401-500
  • NTU Ranking: 382
  • U.S. News Best Global Universities Ranking: 342
  • The Center for World University Rankings: 387
  • CWTS Leiden Ranking: 483

More information about the rankings

QS World University Rankings

QS World University Ranking is viewed as one of the three most-widely read university rankings in the world, along with the Academic Ranking of World Universities and Times Higher Education World University Rankings. QS Ranking lists top 1,000 universities around the world, covering 80 different locations. Universities are evaluated according to the following six indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio, and international student ratio. However, not all indicators are equally important. For example, in QS Ranking, the highest weighted indicator is academic reputation that corresponds to 40% of points while international faculty ratio/international student ratio both correspond to only 5% each.

Below you can find our position in QS World University Rankings from 2018–2024.

Year Position
2018 276
2019 285
2020 287
2021 287
2022 295
2023 291
2024 315
Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Times Higher Education World University Ranking was first introduced in 2014, and is nowadays featuring more than 1,500 higher education institutions worldwide. The ranking lists top universities globally, judging universities against 13 separate performance indicators. All university’s essential areas are covered, including teaching (the learning environment), research (volume, income and reputation), international outlook (staff, students and research), citations (research influence), and industry income (knowledge transfer). 

Below you can find our position in Times Higher Education World University Rankings from 2015–2023.

Year Position
2015 351–400
2016 301–350
2017 301–350
2018 351–400
2019 351–400
2020 351–400
2021 351–400
2022 351–400
2023 351–400
2024 301–350
THE Impact Rankings

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, first published in 2019, focuses on measuring how well universities around the world follow and promote United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their activities. Four broad areas of expertise include research, stewardship, outreach and teaching.

Below you can find our position in Times Higher Education World University Rankings from 2020–2023.

Year Position
2020 101-200
2021 301–400
2022 401-600
2023 401-600
Academic Ranking of World Universities

Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) was first published in 2013, making it the first global university ranking ever. ARWU focuses on the following six indicators: the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance of a university. In addition, ARWU also provides insights about subject and field-specific rankings. 

Below you can find our position in Academic Ranking of World Universities Rankings from 2015–2023.

Year Position
2015 301–400
2016 401–500
2017 401–500
2018 301–400
2019 301–400
2020 301–400
2021 301–400
2022 401–500
2023 301–400
NTU Ranking

NTU Ranking is published by the National Taiwan University since 2017. This ranking is also often referred to as the “Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities”. Unlike previously mentioned QS, THE and ARWU Rankings, NTU Ranking is based solely on bibliometric measurements. It provides an overall ranking, rankings by six fields, and rankings by 27 selected subjects. 

Below you can find our position in NTU Rankings from 2017–2022.

Year Position
2017 323
2018 335
2019 368
2020 370
2021 369
2022 402
2023 382
U.S. News Best Global Universities Ranking

The US News Best Global Universities Ranking is the newest ranking of all, as it was first published in 2014. The ranking uses 13 separate ranking factors focused on institutions' research performance. Specifically, the rankings are calculated using global and regional reputation indicators and academic research performance indicators, such as citations and publications. You can read more about US News Best Global Universities Ranking’s methodology here.

Below you can find our position in the U.S. News Best Global Universities Ranking  from 2021–2022.

Year Position
2021 322
2022 327
The Center for World University Rankings

The Center for World University Rankings asses the quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, and research performance without relying on surveys and university data submissions. 

Below you can find our position in The Center for World University Rankings from 2015–2023.

Year Position
2015 383
2016 366
2017 359
2018 339
2019 355
2020 364
2021 381
2022 395
2023 387
CWTS Leiden Ranking

The Leiden Ranking uses more advanced bibliometric indicators than other university rankings. It primarily focuses on research done at universities and can be considered independent, as it does not depend on data submitted by the universities themselves. 

Below you can find our position in CWTS Leiden Rankings from 2015–2022.

Year Position
2015 378
2016 407
2017 410
2018 428
2019 432
2020 441
2021 462
2022 464

More Than Our Rank

The University of Turku is committed to responsible assessment and to acknowledging and recognizing a broader and more diverse range of institutional success than is indicated by various university rankings. The University of Turku is one of the early adopters among Finnish universities of the INORMS More Than Our Rank initiative.

More Than Our Rank Initiative Logo

>> Read our More Than Our Rank Institutional Statement