herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

TCD still in top 100 of world colleges - and best in Ireland

Trinity College is our top uni
Trinity College is our top uni

Dublin's Trinity College is Ireland's top university in the QS World University Rankings this year.

It has retained its place in the Top 100, though sliding from 71st place to 78th in the world.

University College Dublin fell from 139th to 154th in the 2015 league table.

Other Irish colleges ranked were University College Cork, down to 233rd from 230th last year; National University of Ireland, Galway, up nine places to 271 and Dublin City University, up 13 places to 353rd.

Praised

The University of Limerick climbed from the 501-550 category to the 471-480 category, while Maynooth University climbed from the 601-650 category to the 551-600 category.

The world's top university this year remained the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by Harvard University, while Cambridge and Stanford Universities shared third place with California Institute of Technology (CALTECH), where the fictional television series The Big Bang Theory is based.

Ben Sowter, QS head of research, praised the performances of Irish colleges overall.

"Considering the strong representation of Irish universities per capita, one ranked university per 130,000, Irish universities are akin to the Irish rugby team; remarkably competitive given their population, funding and resources - and consistently so," said Mr Sowter.

Trinity College's Dean of Research, Professor John Boland, said his college continues to be recognised as Ireland's premier university, competing at the highest levels.

"At the heart of the university is its teaching and the high scores for subjects areas and the overall recognition of our academic staff are a real testament of the quality of a Trinity education for our students," said Prof Boland.

He said it was particularly heartening that employers rate TCD graduates highly both nationally and internationally.

But cuts in funding and increased investments made by TCD's global competition continue to have a direct impact on the rankings, he said.

Trinity is battling against intense international competition, particularly from Asian and European universities, where governments are investing heavily in higher education, he said.

Credit

"The continued reduction in government investment in Irish universities has impacted negatively on the international standing of our universities and our ability to compete in a global arena.

"Trinity's top 100 position globally and top 30 in Europe is remarkable in the context of its reduced income.

"Trinity's annual budget per academic year is 45pc lower than that of the average university in the world top 200," he said.

"Trinity's teaching and research staff deserve credit in the circumstances," he added.

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