Irish universities face further drop in international rankings

Date Uploaded: 19/09/2016

Trinity fears it could be overtaken by UCD as Ireland’s leading college on influential list


Irish universities are bracing themselves for further falls in international rankings this week, with the publication of the influential Times Higher Education university rankings on Wednesday.


Both UCD and Trinity College are fearful of slipping outside the elite top 200, with Trinity facing the additional challenge of potentially being overtaken by UCD as Ireland’s leading university.


Recently, all Irish universities, with the exception of NUI Galway, declined in the QS University Rankings.


However, university heads are known to be even more concerned about the impending Times results, generally regarded as the most influential of the university league tables.


The Times rankings are relied upon by many involved in international research funding.


Trinity prediction

Academics in Trinity last week received a note from the college’s dean of research, John Boland, which predicted Trinity could fall in the rankings.


Trinity is currently ranked 160th in the world in the Times system, while UCD is ranked 176. Other Irish universities are all ranked outside the top 250.


“It would be a huge blow to Trinity,” said one source in the college when asked about a potential fall outside the top 200.


A UCD source said that the college’s hierarchy was “not feeling good” about this week’s ranking results.


Universities are increasingly focused on their standing in various world rankings.


All universities have complained vociferously to the Government that funding shortfalls have led directly to their poor performance in recent rankings, with pressure on staff-student ratios especially acute.


Minister for Education Richard Bruton said universities would have to introduce reforms in return for any increases in funding.


Journalist: Pat Leahy

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