UCD and TCD fall from list of top 100
IRELAND has lost its membership of the World's Top 100 Universities list in a major blow for the country's reputation.
Tough cuts in funding and staffing levels imposed by the Government were blamed for contributing to Ireland's expulsion from the elite global list of leading educational institutions.
No Irish universities feature in the top 100 as measured by the UK-based Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.
Trinity College, Dublin, which was in the Top 50 five years ago, has now been excluded from the Top 100. University College, Dublin, also a former Top 100 member, has also been expelled from the 'premier league' of world universities.
The list is compiled by surveying more than 17,000 academics around the world.
The Top 100 covers only the top 0.5pc of universities in the world. Irish universities must now settle for being included among the top 3pc.
High income universities in places such as the UK, US and, increasingly, Asia are taking the top spots.
Ned Costello, chief executive of the Irish Universities Association, said Irish universities continue to perform strongly on graduate quality and research outputs.
"However, centrally imposed cutbacks in both staffing and funding are placing us at a real disadvantage in terms of our international reputation," he said.
TCD and UCD have suffered a 6pc cut in staff numbers following the economic crash.
Harvard heads an elite group of six US and UK global university "super-brands". The UK heads Europe with 10 institutions in the top 100, followed by the Netherlands with five.
The problem for Ireland is that reputation is regarded as a key factor for attracting top academics, lucrative research partnerships and business contracts as well as full fee-paying international students, who will boost income.