Finland is known as one of Europe’s most modern, most innovative countries, and with its world-renowned education system, it has become a popular destination for international students in recent years. Many Finnish universities enjoy a pristine academic reputation. First and foremost is the University of Helsinki, the country’s oldest and largest university, closely followed by Aalto University, which is also located in Helsinki.
Like many other European countries, Finland distinguishes between traditional research-driven universities and what is called “Universities of Applied Sciences” (UAS), or polytechnics. These institutions offer high-quality, practice-oriented education and thus focus less on classical academic research. Because university rankings are often research-biased, these fine schools tend to be excluded, even though they offer great opportunities for international students - especially at the Bachelor’s level. So be sure to include them in your research when looking for a degree in Finland.
|University||QS Ranking 2020||THE Ranking 2020||ARWU Ranking 2019|
|University of Helsinki||107||96||63|
|University of Turku||287||351||301|
|University of Jyväskylä||346||501||501|
|University of Oulu||374||251||301|
|Lappeenranta University of Technology||491||501||901|
|University of Eastern Finland||498||401||401|
|Åbo Akademi University||541||601||–|
The QS World University Rankings are among the most important, most-referenced rankings. The QS ranking relies heavily on its academic survey, asking thousands of academics worldwide about the reputation of universities.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (or the THE Rankings for short) compile a wide range of statistics. Equal weight is put on teaching quality, research excellence, and research impact through citations (meaning how often a university’s research is referenced elsewhere).
The Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (often just Shanghai Ranking, or ARWU) focuses on research output and quality, for example measured by the number of published and cited scientific papers and the number of staff or alumni winning the Nobel Prize or Fields Medal.
Finland is a great place to study abroad: The small Northern European nation is home to some world-class universities that offer high-quality teaching, you get to enjoy a remarkable quality of life in a safe environment, the locals are welcoming - and everyone speaks English. Better yet: Students from Europe study for free at Finnish universities.