Finland is one of the best choices for international students. The small nation is one of Europe’s most modern, most innovative countries. Its education system is world-renowned, with plenty of great universities that offer English-taught Bachelors and Masters for those that seek to study abroad.
Our overview below shows the best-ranked universities in Finland. The table gives you a summary of the global positions of Finnish universities in three leading international rankings: the Times Higher Education Ranking (THE), the QS World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU, commonly known as the “Shanghai Ranking”).
In 2018, 7 out of the top 10 universities in Finland are among the top 500 best universities in the world. As in previous years, the table is led by the University of Helsinki. In two of the three rankings - THE and ARWU - it ranks among the top 100 worldwide, while this year it barely missed that honour in the QS University Rankings. Aalto University, also located in the capital Helsinki, improved its position in the Times Higher Education Ranking and made it into the top 200 in 2018. Have a look at the rankings table below:
|University of Helsinki||102||90||56|
|University of Turku||276||351-400||401-500|
|University of Jyväskylä||357||401-500||501-600|
|Tampere University of Technology||380||501-600|
|University of Oulu||411-420||251-300||401-500|
|University of Eastern Finland||451-460||301-350||301-400|
|Lappeenranta University of Technology||501-550||501-600|
|Åbo Akademi University||551-600|
|University of Tampere||551-600||201-250||601-700|
If you feel that the list is short and is missing a number of important Finnish institutions, you may be right. As many other countries in Europe, Finland has a two-sector higher education system. There are the traditional universities and the universities of applied sciences (UAS), sometimes also called “polytechnics”. The largest ones are Helsinki Metropolia, Haaga-Helia, and Tampere UAS, each with around 10,000 students.
While traditional universities combine education and research, universities of applied sciences focus on practice-oriented education to prepare students for jobs; and conduct less research in the traditional academic sense. Since research output is a large influence factor for the international rankings (especially in the ARWU / Shanghai Ranking), these universities of applied sciences will not be considered, even though they offer high-quality education that may in many cases be much more relevant for their students than pure academic theory. Often, their tuition fees are also lower than at traditional universities, making them a cheap but good alternative.
So when you are looking for study options in Finland, make sure that you have a good look at the universities of applied sciences as well.
You want to learn more about top ranked universities in Finland? Check out the official rankings here: