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.
Nowadays, there are around 20,000–25,000 universities in the world, depending on what qualifies as a university. Universities across the world are evaluated in different international rankings each year. The University of Turku places within the top 2% of the world’s universities and is in some fields among the best universities in the world. In addition, the University of Turku is often ranked as the third best university in Finland.
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.
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.
Placings of the University of Turku in 2020
- QS World University Rankings: 287
- THE World University Rankings: 351–400
- THE Impact Ranking: 101–200
- Academic Ranking of World Universities: 301–400
- NTU Ranking: 370
- The Center for World University Rankings: 364
- CWTS Leiden Ranking: 440
Our yearly progress in international rankings
More information about the 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 2018–2021.
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 QS World University Rankings from 2015–2021.
Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, first published in 2019, focus 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.
In 2020, the University of Turku was ranked in position 101–200.
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 2015–2020.
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 24 selected subjects.
Below you can find our position in NTU Rankings from 2017–2020.
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.
In 2021, the University of Turku was ranked in position 322.
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 2015–2020.
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 2015–2020.