Trinity College’s place at the top of the Irish university pile is coming under increased pressure from UCD, after the margin between the duo in a major international rankings reduced from around 100 places to just 16.
The latest Times Higher Education (THE) rankings show Trinity slipping from 138 in the world to 160, with UCD jumping up from 226 to 176, however, the biggest jump came from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.
Last year it ranked among the top 351-400 universities, rising 100 spots this year. UCC slipped down a bracket into RCSI’s former place.
The mixed bag of results (DCU, UL and DIT are new entrants towards the lower end, with Maynooth University stagnant beside UCC) has prompted a warning from Phil Baty, editor of the THE rankings.
“Ireland will have to put higher education further up its national agenda if it is to truly make its mark on this prestigious list,” he said.
University rankings, not what they seem
However, the rankings should be viewed quite warily. A few years ago this was the THE/QS rankings, which has since split into two separate, competing projects where disparities abound.
A couple of weeks ago QS ranked Trinity at 78 (down from 71 in 2014), with UCD at 154 (139), for example.
Trinity’s dean of research, Professor John Boland, said: “We are delighted that Trinity College Dublin continues to be recognised globally as Ireland’s premier university, competing at the highest international standards.
“A world-class university, however, requires resourcing at internationally competitive levels. For Trinity to sustain its position and increase further worldwide, requires sustained investment in the university sector.”
Main image of Trinity College via Shutterstock