University rankings

Universities of the world are compared in the so-called university rankings. Universities keep a close eye on these ranking lists, because they tend to be the first places where people look of information for evaluating a university as a potential partner or place to work or study. The higher the rank of a university, the more pull it has for high class operators.

The University of Oulu is usually ranked in the top three per cent of all the 17,000 universities of the world. Our strong point is our publishing activity, such as citations and publications in Nature and Science. Among the fields of science, we rank well in clinical medicine, medicine, dentistry, life sciences, biology, information technology and data processing, electrical engineering, ecology and geography.

The University of Oulu takes part in some five rankings every year. The most important of these are the “Shanghai list” ie. the ARWU university ranking published by the Jiao Tong University in Shanghai; Times Higher Education (THE) ranking; QS World University Rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds; and the CWTS ranking by Leiden University.

What do rankings measure?

Rankings measure most of all the profitability of research, because a high level of research is valued and is also easy to measure. Different comparisons measure many other things as well: some of them track publications and their numbers or citations; some look at reputation, level of science and teaching, number of degrees, internationality, Nobel laureates, or the teacher-student ratio.

Shanghai-ranking (ARWU) emphasizes Nobel laureates and Fields medalists: the universities where the laureates and medalists studied (weight 10 %) and the universities where they worked as researcher at the time they were awarded (20 %). Citation indexes, and articles and papers published in Nature or Science are given the weight 20 %. Highly cited researchers get the weight 20 % and the aforementioned in relation to the number of academic faculty get 10 %.

Times Higher Education ranking gives both teaching and research the weight of 30 %. Teaching includes outside reputation, academic faculty to teacher ratio, doctoral degrees ratio to lower degrees and academic faculty, and income in relation to the number of academic faculty. Important in research are reputation, publications and research funding. THE gives citations the weight of 30 %, industry connections 2.5 % and internationalization 7.5 %.

QS-ranking emphasizes the reputation of the university both in the eyes of other universities (weight 40 %) and employers (10 %). QS weighs citations 20 %, student-teacher ratio 20 % and internationality 10 %.

CWTS Leiden ranking ranks universities by their publications. It takes into account those publications which are in the top 10 % in terms of citation numbers in their own field. Leiden gives a publication a lower weight if its authors come from several universities.


The University of Oulu Library Libguide on ranking lists

Below is the rank of the University of Oulu in the most important university rankings 2012-2018. Top table shows our international ranking and bottom table shows our national ranking.