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University of Helsinki drops in international ranking

The university was the only Finnish academic institution to make the top 100 list.

Helsingin yliopisto
Image: Antti Haanpää / Yle

The University of Helsinki is the only Finnish institute of higher learning on the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities, which ranks the top 100 universities in the world. This year's ranking for the University of Helsinki - 63rd place - represents a drop of six places as in 2018 the university held 57th position on the list.

However, while the university’s ranking dropped slightly on the list, it’s still in a higher position than it was four years ago when it held 67th position.

No cause for concern

According to Paula Eerola, vice rector of the University of Helsinki, this drop in ranking is not a catastrophe.

”Evaluating academic programmes is not a sport, where the stopwatch tells you who is best," she said, adding that "rankings are, of course, important development tools.”

Eerola said that the situation could only be considered worrisome if the downward spiral proved to be a long-term trend.

Funding cutbacks to the university may have affected the ranking.

”We have said earlier that (cutbacks) would have an impact, sooner or later,” conceded Eerola.

The Academic Ranking of World Universities has been published since 2003. It is often called the 'Shanghai list', as the first year that it was issued it was compiled by the Chinese Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Main Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat first reported on the 2019 rankings.

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