Sweden's top university Karolinska tumbles in global ranking

TT/The Local
TT/The Local - [email protected]
Sweden's top university Karolinska tumbles in global ranking
The scandal involving KI’s former surgeon Macchiarini could have played a factor in the drop. Photo: Thomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Sweden’s reputed Karolinska Institute (KI) has tumbled in its international ranking, slipping a full 10 points year-on-year in the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) World Education Rankings 2018 which was released on Tuesday.


Stockholm’s KI, which selects the winners of the Nobel Prize in medicine and which ranked 28 among the world’s top 1,000 universities last year, now comes in at number 38. In an e-mailed response to Swedish news agency TT, Phil Baty, the editor of THE, described the result as “a shame” for the institution.

According to Baty, much of the tumble can likely be blamed on the scandal hitting the institution involving celebrity Italian surgeon Paolo Macchiarini. The surgeon was fired from KI over accusations of misconduct after several of his trachea transplant patients died.

READ MORE: Macchiarini's seventh transplant patient dies 

Baty said, however, that those handing out the scores in its annual ranking don’t need to motivate their choices, “but in this case (Macchiarini) could have been a factor”.

But KI isn’t the only prominent Swedish university doing worse off this year: Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology fell from 159 to 173 and the University of Gothenburg to 198 from a previous 170.

Uppsala University, on the other hand, climbed to 86 from 93, Lund University to 93 from 96 and Stockholm University to 134 from 144.

Britain’s Oxford University topped the list for the second year in the row, followed by Cambridge in second place, while the California Institute of Technology shared a third place with Stanford.

A total of 77 countries take part in the annual ranking.


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