University of Tartu represented with five new subjects in QS subject rankings

At the end of February, the prominent QS World University Rankings published its World University Rankings by Subjects 2018, covering 48 subjects. This year 18 subjects taught at the University of Tartu are represented in the rankings, five more than last year.

To compile the rankings, the international consulting company Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) gathers information on 4000 universities all over the world and ranks just a small part of them. The new subjects of the University of Tartu that made it to the rankings are law (251–300), geography (151–200), politics and international studies (151–200), sociology (201–250) and history (151–200). Most of the new entries of the University of Tartu are subjects taught at the Faculty of Social Sciences – three new places in the rankings.

“Skytte Institute has become much more internationalised, especially in recent years, with 25% of our employees coming from other countries and three of four master’s curricula being taught in English. As a result, we have developed an environment in which studies and research in Estonian and English are well combined. Therefore, we are successful in finding foreign funding. But besides the funding, we also consider it important that young Estonian researchers return to Tartu to ensure we have the new generation of researchers in the speciality. All in all, it is an excellent recognition to all our people,” said acting director of J. Skytte Institute of Political Studies Mihkel Solvak, who is in charge of political science and international studies, the highest-ranking subject in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

“It is a pleasant recognition although a place in the rankings is not usually the goal of our work,” said Leho Ainsaar, director of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, about the ranking of geography. “One of the main strengths of research and studies at our institute is interdisciplinarity. Our subject perfectly combines in itself environmental sciences, physical natural sciences, social sciences and information technology. I would definitely like to point out the invaluable contribution of our late professor Rein Ahas to making our geography so visible in the world.”

This year QS made a separate ranking in history; earlier it was for history and archaeology. Head of the UT Institute of History and Archaeology Anti Selart finds it encouraging that QS has recognised the University of Tartu equally in both subjects (151–200). “Naturally, it is wonderful news and an encouraging recognition to the entire staff of the institute. We are pleased that the University of Tartu has, against all odds, developed a modern scientific potential in this speciality and that our work and activities have also been noticed outside our university and Estonia,” said Selart.

The University of Tartu was ranked in the following subject rankings this year (place is shown in brackets): archaeology (151–200), English language and literature (201–250), history (151–200), linguistics (101–150), modern languages (251–300), philosophy (101–150), computer science and information systems (351–400), agriculture and forestry (151–200), biological sciences (301–350), medicine (301–350), pharmacy and pharmacology (251–300), chemistry (401–450), geography (151–200), physics and astronomy (451–500), communication and media studies (151–200), law (251–300), politics and international studies (151–200) and sociology (201–250).

This year, Harvard University received again most of the first places in the subject rankings, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked the second. Rankings are available on QS World University Rankings website.


Additional information: Lauri Randveer, UT Senior Specialist for International Cooperation, 737 5510,