Depending on how the figure is calculated, there are 17 000–22 000 universities in the world, of which approximately 1 000 are in Europe, around 70 in the Nordic countries, and 14 in Finland.
Different ranking lists use different indicators to compare universities. Most rankings evaluate research publications - their quantity and, for example, how many times they are cited. The criteria may also include external funding, an international dimension, or the university's reputation among researchers and employers. Usually, the overall score of a university is determined by combining its score on different indicators.
General rankings are comparisons which take a holistic view to evaluating universities. Aalto University has scored well in general comparisons which focus on universities less than 50 years old.
Subject-specific rankings relevant to Aalto
Some rankings are specific to a single subject or field, and these are more relevant to a university such as Aalto University which specialises in three fields. Different disciplines have different publishing practices, and comparisons which focus on a specific field enable universities to be assessed on equal terms.
Organisations that produce rankings also create special lists which take into account only one indicator or criterion, such as an international dimension, business cooperation or external financing.