The University of Tartu (TÜ) has almost broken into the top 300 places in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, its highest ranking to date.
The university has climbed 160 places in the rankings since 2014, BNS reports, and rose another 20 since last year, to 301st, university spokespeople say.
QS uses six indicators when ranking universities. The first two cover the academic and employer reputation of the institution, weighted 40 percent and 10 percent respectively.
The remainder examine the faculty-student ratio (20 percent weighting), citations per faculty, also (20 percent) and measures intended to capture the institute's internationalism, the proportion of those attending or working who are from other countries, weighted at 10 percent and split 50:50 between staff and students.
Improved in four of six rankings
In the fresh rankings, TÜ has improved its ranking in four of the six indicators. The university's reputation among academic staff has improved particularly significantly, with a rise of 47 places on this indicator alone.
Tartu university's reputation among employers has moved up 13 places. As for the ratio of international staff and students, the university rose 34 places by international students and 25 places by staff.
QS observed 1,620 universities worldwide, ranking 1,001 of these. The top three is again dominated by U.S. universities: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University and Harvard University, with the University of Oxford, in England, in fourth place.
Erik Puura, TÜ vice-rector for development, said the university does not set chasing rankings as a key part of its development plan and activities, adding it was nevertheless very pleasing to hear of the new ranking.
"We are increasingly known and recognized internationally," Puura said.
"The University of Tartu is a trademark for the whole of Estonia which has spread worldwide, introducing Estonia and demonstrating it as a citadel of learning and knowledge. We are actively participating in the The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities and, since last year, in the even more meaningful U4 Network along with Ghent University, Belgium, the University of Göttingen, Germany, the University of Groningen, Holland, and Uppsala University, Sweden," he continued, noting that getting close to the top 100 would be possible with the strong work of researchers and teaching staff, but would also require the state's consistent contribution to research and higher education.
The coalition government recently announced that Research and Development (R&D) spend would not be reaching 1 percent of GDP as it stands under the current state budget strategy.
Editor: Andrew Whyte