This year, University of Latvia (UL) has risen by 50 places in one of the world’s most prestigious rankings of higher education institutions – QS World University Rankings, and now occupies 651th–700th place, according to the data released September 6. In 2015, UL was ranked 701th–800th. UL is the first and, so far, the only higher education institution in Latvia to be included in the ranking of this level, and the significantly improved position clearly shows that UL firmly stands among the world’s top 5% of universities.

“The rise of University of Latvia by 50 places in the QS World University Rankings means growth of our international recognition and prestige, as a great part of these ratings consists of the evaluation provided by the colleagues in other higher education institutions,” emphasizes UL Rector, Professor Indriķis Muižnieks. “The significant rise in the ratings also confirms the growing number of UL scientific publications and citations.”

UL Rector, Prof. I. Muižnieks draws the attention to the fact that the measurable indicators characterising the quality of study process at the UL are improving. The quality of studies at the University of Latvia is certainly advancing. More lecturers from abroad, new academic staff, more teachers per student,” explains I. Muižnieks. “Since the number of institutes at the UL has grown, this indicator should progress even more, and, consequently, we can offer an individualised approach to each student, and science-based education – these advantages have been appreciated internationally.”

''Student Council welcomes the rise achieved in these rankings, and is proud of its University”, the received results of rankings are commented upon by the chairperson of the Council Santa Zarāne. “However, we believe in moving on beyond the numbers, it is necessary to continue the work dedicated to improvement of UL development and quality, and all stakeholders – the students, academic and general personnel – should cooperate in this process. UL students and graduates should be proud of their education!”

“The high assessment received by UL is a good foundation to invite other Latvian higher education institutions to strive toward entering the ratings. The more universities are included in this rating, the greater the overall international recognition of Latvia,” underlines UL Rector I. Muižnieks. “It is of a great importance, if we aspire to greater involvement in international projects, to enrolling more international students.”

The first three places in the ratings are taken by the higher education institutions of USA. The top spot for the fifth consecutive year is taken by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, now followed by Stanford University which has risen by one place this year, the third is Harvard University, while the University of Cambridge (Great Britain) has stepped down to the fourth place.    

QS World University Rankings along with Shanghai ARWU and Times Higher Education ratings are the most influential higher education institution ratings of the world. QS World University Rankings commenced in 2004 and today, on September 6, it was published for the 12th time. This year, the ranking has been expanded, including 916 universities in 81 countries, following an assessment of more than 3 800 institutions.

QS World University Rankings are based on several indicators – international reputation, results of two major global surveys (one of academics and another of employers), citation of scientific publications, introduction of scientific results into practice, student-to-faculty ratio (the number of academic staff employed relative to the number of students enrolled), international faculty ratio and international student ratio, as well as cross-border cooperation. The most recent refinements of the methodology are related to evaluation of research, with the aim of providing a more balanced reflection of research impact across different faculty areas. All the data submitted by higher education universities are validated on the basis of internationally available information.

September 6, 2016. QS World University Rankings data about UL.