Ranking of Nordic Universities, 2021

Ranking of Nordic Universities 2021
RankInstitutionChange from 2020ARWUQSTHEUSNWRAverage World Rank
URKarolinska Institute ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ชNA42NR394843
๐Ÿฅ‡University of Copenhagen ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ3079963760.5
๐ŸฅˆUniversity of Oslo ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด+1611021199093
๐Ÿฅ‰University of Helsinki ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ-1821041019495.25
4Aarhus University ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ+171155104103108.25
5Uppsala University ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช-178124131113111.5
6Lund University ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช1518711695112.25
7Stockholm University ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช74148176123130.25
8Technical University of Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ15199185161149
9University of Gothenburg ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช101180185134150
10KTH Royal Institute of Technology ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช20189201212175.75
11University of Bergen ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด301199201183221
12Aalto University ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ+1301112201275222.25
13Aalborg University ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ+1301326201241267.25
14Chalmers University of Technology ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช-2401121251339278
15University of Southern Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ+1301309251255279
URSwedish University of Agricultural Sciences ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ชNA201NR301348~283.3
16Norwegian University of Science and Technology ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด-1101369401266284.25
URReykjavรญk University ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธNANRNR301NR301
17Linkรถping University ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช+2301329251350307.75
18University of Turku ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ-1301295351327318.5
19University of Oulu ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎNA401377251422362.75
20Umeรฅ University ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช-2401365351335363
Figure 1. Ranking of Nordic Universities 2021-2022

This is a ranking of the top 20 Nordic universities of 2021.


The ranking was created by using metadata sourced from the four prominent rankings of world universities (each ranking released in 2021): Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Times Higher Education (THE), and U.S. News & World Report (USNWR).

Rank was determined on each list for every Nordic university ranked on each list. If a ranking used a range, the highest possible rank was chosen (e.g., if a university was ranked within a 201-250 bracket, 201 was chosen). Then for each university all its rank placements were averaged across lists to create the new list of average ranking for each university. The universities were then ranked according to their average ranking. The university with the highest average is thus ranked 1st, the one with the second highest average 2nd, and so on.

Finally, the results were tabled, and are shown above (Figure 1). The leftmost column shows rank based on average, the “institution” column shows the institution ranked, the “Change from 2020” column shows the change in ranking placement from last year’s ranking (Ranking of Nordic Universities, 2020), the next four rightward columns (ARWU, QS, THE, USNWR) show the rank for each given institution in each of those selected world rankings, and the rightmost column (“Average World”) averages the four ranking lists’ rank placement for each university.

Only universities which were ranked on all four lists are counted. Universities which would have appeared had they been ranked by all the rankings are displayed in the ranking where they would have ranked if their average rank was the result of an average across all four rankings. Thus, for example, Karolinska Institute is shown above the #1 ranked University of Copenhagen, as it would have ranked #1 if it appeared on all four rankings (and maintained its average from the rankings it did appear on). Rather than receiving a ranking placement, universities appearing in these positions are marked “UR” (unrankable) in the rank column, and “NR” (not ranked) in rankings lists in which they were not ranked.


  • ARWU best predicts the summed average.
  • QS worst predicts the summed average.

In my opinion, global university rankings are not a measure of how “good” a university is. They are, centrally, a measure of university reputation among people in administrative positions in academics. How good a university is for you depends on what your goals are. It is almost entirely contextual. Thus, the rankings I do — which are based on average placements in world university rankings — ought to be seen not as a measure of how good a university is, but as a measure of the average opinion of an academic administrator you’ll get if you ask them to talk about a given university from a global perspective. In this spirit, I offer you a deflationary university ranking.

If anything appears to be in error, please email me at tuulifunctional@snmcgannon.com.

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