Århus University is top Nordic school

International researchers rated scientific programmes at Århus and Copenhagen Universities head and shoulders above neighbouring Scandinavian schools

Århus University has been rated the Nordic region's top school for science in an international study of leading college programmes.

British daily newspaper The Times listed Copenhagen University as the second-best school in Scandinavia. Just three other Nordic colleges cracked the list of best universities for science, which was compiled by the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Cambridge and Oxford Universities topped the science list, followed by Harvard and UC-Berkeley, while the two Danish universities ranked numbers 39 and 44 on the study. The Times Higher Education Supplement asked 1,300 active scholars in 88 countries to nominate the top university in their field.

"My immediate reaction is that I'm pleased about the ranking, but I can't really evaluate the results because I don't know what the criteria were," said Århus University dean Niels Christian Sidenius.

"In earlier studies, the other Nordic universities have ranked higher than us. But we've always done well in the scientific fields," said Sidenius.

Sweden's Uppsala University and Karolinska Institut ranked 61st and 96th on the list, respectively, while Helsinki University in Finland came in 90th.

"The two Danish universities ranked incredibly well," said Jens Christian Djurhuus, M.D., PhD, director of the Institute for Experimental Clinical Research at Århus University Hospital.

"We don't know the premises for the study," Djurhuus acknowledged. "We'll have to scrutinise them more closely. To date, however, Danish research has fared well compared to other countries. Relative to the amount of money invested, Danish research is some of the finest and most effective in the world," said Djurhuus.

As chairman of the State Scientific Research Council (SSVF), Djurhuus has previously warned of the need for DKK 200 million in additional yearly funding for health sciences research and high-level training, if Denmark is to maintain its high research standard after the current crop of experts retires.

The Times Higher Education Supplement also released a list of the world's 50 best universities overall. No Nordic universities ranked in this category, which was led by Harvard University in the United States, with Cambridge and Oxford making the top 10.

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