Andres Tennus

University of Tartu ranked in the top 400 in QS World University Rankings using a new methodology

On 27 June, the global higher education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) launched its World University Rankings 2024, adopting a methodology that has undergone considerable change. The University of Tartu is ranked 358th and again tops the list of Estonian universities. 

Publishing the 20th edition of its university rankings this year, QS explained that the need to evolve its methodology arose from the major changes that have taken place in the higher education space over the past two decades, as well as the changing priorities for students. The two important changes in the methodology included introducing three new indicators and changing the weight of other performance indicators in the overall score. 

The three new indicators are sustainability, employment outcomes, and international research network. The weight of some of the indicators in the overall score was changed for the faculty-student ratio (from 20% to 10%), academic reputation (from 40% to 30%), and employer reputation (from 10% to 15%). 

According to Taivo Raud, Director of Development of the University of Tartu, these changes make it difficult to compare the university’s current ranking with its position last year: “Rather, it is a new start, as the weight of several existing indicators has changed a lot, and new indicators have been introduced.” 

“The good international visibility of the University of Tartu is an important signpost for prospective students and improves our reputation, but we certainly do not choose our development directions solely based on our ranking,” Raud added. He also emphasised that one of the new indicators, the metric of universities’ performance in sustainability-related areas, is also one of the priorities of the University of Tartu. 

Starting this year, QS compiles the university rankings based on nine indicators: the university’s academic reputation and employer reputation (30% and 15%, respectively, of the overall score), faculty-student ratio (10%), impact of research, i.e. citations per faculty (20%), international student ratio and international faculty ratio (both 5% of the overall score), sustainability (5%), employment outcomes (5%), and international research network (5%).   

For compiling the ranking, QS analysed the results of 2,963 universities and ranked 1,499. Compared to the previous ranking, 83 new universities were included. The full ranking is available on the QS World University Rankings website. Information on changes in methodology is available on the QS website.