The University of Iceland's strength as a comprehensive research university ensures its place on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings list over the best universities worldwide for the seventh year running. A new list for 2017-2018 was published 5 September and according to it the University of Iceland currently ranks in place 241-242 over the best universities in the world, compared to seat 242 last year. The University, furthermore, ranks in place 16 on the list of best universities in the Nordic countries and improves in all categories of the evaluation.
"This is a remarkable achievement and a confirmation that the University of Iceland has set the right course which it has rigorously followed,” says Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland." All nations in the world want to have a dynamic and progressive university and compete for a place for their university on this distinguished list. Our neighbouring countries have systematically invested in universities and innovation to ensure quality of life, economy and prosperity. The University of Iceland has shown the strength needed to play such a part in Icelandic community."
Why does it matter that Iceland is at the forefront in this field? "It gives us a headstart in the fierce competition between nations, because outstanding higher education is the foundation of the high standard of living in Iceland. This spring the EU published a report on the economic and social impact of science and innovation. In this report the direct connection between investment in research, innovation and education on the one hand, and economic growth and increased productivity on the other is once again confirmed. Ambitious research at the University of Iceland is thus the basis for varied and progressive industry in Iceland. This recurrent success of the University of Iceland is not automatic; it has been achieved through the dedication and ceaseless efforts of the excellent staff, students and partners that the University boasts of", says the Rector.
"The University of Iceland has graduated over 50,000 individuals who have made their mark in all fields of society and contributed to the creation of a prosperous democracy. This is a unique achievement", the Rector adds.
The University of Iceland has had a place on the list since its centennial in 2011. During the first years it was ranked around 270 on the list but among 250 best for the last three consecutive years. Times Higher Education’s evaluation covers numerous operational factors in the universities, including research activity, international impact, teaching, and study environment. The University of Iceland improves in all categories.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings comprises over 1,100 universities worldwide. It is, along with the Shanghai Ranking - Academic Ranking of World Universities, ARWU, one of the most prestigious and influential lists of the world's best universities. The University of Iceland was recently named amongst the world's top 500 universities on the renowned Shanghai Ranking. The University of Iceland is ranked in 401st to 500th place on the Shanghai Ranking, but came in 10th place in the field of Remote Sensing, which is a remarkable achievement. The University is, moreover, ranked in 51st to 75th place in the field of Biological Sciences, in position 76-100 in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and in 101st to 150th place in the field of Earth Sciences. Additionally, research conducted at the various Schools of the University of Iceland earned the institution 201st to 300th place in the field of Clinic Medicine, rank 301-400 in Public Health as well as Human Biological Sciences, and rank 400-401 in the Global Ranking of Academic Subject in the field of Physics.
The University of Iceland's place on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings emphasises its strength as an international research university; but emphasis has been placed on research, innovation and international collaboration for over a decade.
"Icelandic community and economy demands an increasingly specialised workforce. Our results show that we have met that demand and the result is thus the property of the Icelandic nation. It is, however, by no means evident that a small communty like Iceland has a university that achieves this unique result year after year. It can be lost if we do not play our cards right. When it comes to financing the University of Iceland receives only half the funding its international rivals receive. It is imperative for the future of young people and future generations that we invest in education, research and innovation - that we invest in the University of Iceland," adds Rector.
The list and the basis of the evaluation can be found on the Times Higher Education website.