Three Latvian universities qualify for international ranking in sciences

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The University of Latvia (LU), the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LLU) and Riga Technical University (RTU) have qualified for the "Times Higher Education" 2020 world university rankings by subject in life and physical sciences, according to the ranking data.

LU was included in the life sciences subject ranking for the first time, coming in at 501.-600 place. It moved up to 601.-800 place in the physical sciences ranking, which is the highest result for any Latvian university.

The life sciences ranking also included LLU, which placed 601.+, with RTU also entering the physical sciences ranking at 801.+ place.

LU Representative Sindija Iesalniece informed LETA news agency that the life sciences ranking is made up of  13 performance indicators, which cover various areas of life sciences including biology, veterinary science, agricultural science, forestry science and sports science. The 2020 life sciences ranking includes 821 universities, compared to 751 in 2019.

The ranking results are based on several criteria - teaching (the learning environment) - 30%, research (volume, income and reputation) - 30%, citations (research influence) - 30%, international outlook (staff, students, research) - 7,5 % and industry income (knowledge transfer) - 2,5 %.

UK and US universities took the top places in the life sciences ranking - 1st place went to Cambridge University, 2nd place to Harvard University and 3rd place went to Oxford University.

The physical sciences ranking covers such areas as chemistry, physics and astronomy, geology, environmental science, earth and marine science, as well as mathematics and statistics. The physical sciences ranking included 1054 universitātes, compared to 963 last year.

US and UK universities also took the top places in the physical sciences ranking - 1st place went to Princeton University, 2nd place to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 3rd place was shared by Stanford University and Cambridge University.

"We’re pleased to have been included and able to successfully compete with other universities around the world in one of the most prestigious rankings," says LU Acting Vice Rector for Exact, Life and Medical Sciences Valdis Segliņš.

“The rankings show us the areas where we are most likely to be able to reach the TOP 500 with additional effort, finances, investment and motivation for new scientists,” says Segliņš.

In regards to physical sciences, Segliņš also says that it’s an area the university has already been proud of for some time, and this accomplishment proves that students and teachers should place more emphasis on physics.

The "Times Higher Education" rankings is one of the three most influential global university rankings, and has been publishing data for 17 years. The world university rankings are based on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons, however methodology is adjusted for each subject.

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