© Photo: Toms Grīnbergs, UL Department of Communication

The University of Latvia (UL) medical studies are ranked 501st–550th in the international university ranking “QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022”. This assessment shows that UL has great potential for growth by purposefully creating the image of the university.

The opinion of the academic community and entrepreneurs about the development of the respective field of science at the university is crucial for attaining a good result in the QS World University Rankings by Subject. This estimate is obtained from voluntary surveys of around 130 000 researchers and around 75 000 employers, and represents between 50% (in medicine) and 80% (in the humanities) of the total assessment weight of study field. The UL Rector, Professor Indriķis Muižnieks, compares this approach with the “public voting in Eurovision” and believes that universities in Latvia have not worked extensively in the field of public relations to present themselves in a better light in competition with other higher education institutes worldwide. However, the medicine at UL has received a high appraisal. UL, as well as Riga Stradiņš University, for the first time rank 501–550 in the world rankings.

“The results of QS World University Rankings by Subject confirm that the performance of our medical specialists in the world is known and highly valued even without specially targeted publicity measures. Nevertheless, we must relentlessly increase the competitiveness and recognition of our researchers, contributing to an image of distinguished research university in other fields as well,” observes Indriķis Muižnieks, rector of the University of Latvia.

Compared to other spheres, the subject “Life Sciences and Medicine”, assigns a greater weight to the number of scientific publications and the frequency of their citation, and it helped to highlight the achievements of UL. “The latest QS World University Rankings by Subject is a high assessment of our work,” says Prof. Valdis Folkmanis , dean of the UL Faculty of Medicine. “We are particularly delighted with the high evaluation of our graduates' knowledge given by employers, the number of citations of scientific publications and the Hirsch index. In addition to confirming the correctness and quality level of the chosen research strategy, these results serve as a catalyst for further work on the way to excellence in studies and science,” adds V. Folkmanis.

QS World University Rankings are among the most influential and well-known in the world. The performance of universities is assessed in five broad subject areas: engineering and technology, arts and humanities, life sciences and medicine, natural sciences, social sciences and management, and 51 subjects, such as medicine or linguistics. In order to receive an evaluation, each industry must receive a sufficient number of references from academia and employers, and a certain number of scientific papers must be published each year, which are reported in the Scopus database. Currently, out of more than 85 000 higher education institutions and colleges worldwide, about 25 000 correspond to the status of universities. Of these, 1 543 universities in 88 countries have qualified for QS evaluation. The results of the rankings were officially announced on 6 April 2022.