Photo: Johan Wingborg

University of Gothenburg comes top in Dentistry


The University of Gothenburg ranks number 1 in the world in Dentistry in this year’s edition of QS World University Rankings by Subject, which have now been presented.

The QS World University Rankings are among the three best-known university ranking data sets worldwide. The other two are the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai list, and the Times Higher Education (THE).

The QS World University Rankings are produced annually by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the higher education analytics company. 2021, the University of Gothenburg as a whole ranks number 202 in the overall QS ranking, against number 256 last year. The newly published rankings by subject show that the University of Gothenburg is now number 1 in Dentistry.

In the subject ranking in question, scientific citations are measured by means of the Hirsch index (”h-index”), which combines productivity with citations per article, academic reputation and employers’ assessments, all based on surveys conducted by the analytics firm QS.

International attention

Measuring citations is the least questioned part of the international rankings. On the other hand, criticism is directed at the underlying data and methods where other areas are concerned. Nevertheless, the fact remains that high ranking can have a positive signaling value and put a higher education institution on the map.

Peter Lingström is a Professor and Head of the Institute of Odontology, part of Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.

“A ranking is something that usually attracts attention, not least internationally. In some parts of the world, people look at rankings considerably more than we do in Sweden. Many are aware of the uncertainties involved, but in spite of everything the rankings stand for quality,” he says.

“Although we’re now in first place, we’ve been in the top ten for several years, which testifies to stability in our research activities. Both in Sweden and internationally, the Institute has maintained a strong position for generations, and it’s great to know we’re still among the leading universities internationally.”

Research-based education

The Institute’s study programs at Bachelor’s level provide training for dentists (five years), dental hygienists (three years), and dental technicians (three years). One-year supplementary training for dentists with degrees from the EU, EEA and Switzerland is also available. March 15th is the opening date for applications for fall semester admission.

“All our students can take part, directly or indirectly, in the research performed, and many are also connected to different scientific areas through their master or bachelor degree projects. The education is research-based, and the Institute’s researchers are also its teachers.”

In Lingström’s view, the Institute’s successes rest not on individual researchers, but on several strong research groups that specialize in both fundamental mechanisms and clinical issues. Specialities include the major oral diseases in both children and adults, implant research, behavioral issues, and dental anxiety.

Advantage Sweden

The University of Gothenburg and Karolinska Institutet are the only two higher education institutions in Sweden that have topped a subject ranking in the QS World University Rankings by Subject. For Karolinska, too, the subject was Dentistry.

“Compared with other countries, dental research in Sweden has a great advantage. Here, children and adolescents get dental care regularly, and most adults also visit a dentist or dental hygienist on regular basis. Data are collected and registered, giving us unique opportunities to perform studies and getting answer questions addressed from a population perspective,” Lingström concludes.

Department: Institute of Odontology

Ranking: QS World University Rankings by Subject