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Friday 29 August 2014

Our universities score in the arts, but trail in maths and sciences

Katherine Donnelly Education Editor

Published 26/02/2014 | 02:30

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File Pic Trinity College
Trinity College

IRELAND'S seven universities all feature among the top 200 in the world in at least one discipline, according to the latest global rankings.

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However, no Irish university, nor Dublin Institute of Technology, features among the top 100 in areas such as mathematics, physics, computer sciences and engineering.

Trinity College Dublin is the country's most highly-rated performer, making the top 200 in more than 20 of the 30 disciplines covered by the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Best of all for Ireland is Trinity's 25th in the world in English, and it also makes the top 50 in modern languages, history and politics and features strongly in the top 100 lists.

Overall, Ireland's main strengths are seen to be in arts and humanities, with a number of top 100 placings in these disciplines.

QS head of research Ben Sowter said increased international competition from Asia was making it difficult for Ireland's universities to keep pace, especially in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) disciplines.

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Trinity's 23 appearances in the 30 top 200 lists are closely followed by 22 for University College Dublin's (UCD), including Ireland's highest placed rankings in civil and structural and chemical engineering.

There was a welcome for the findings from Irish universities including University College Cork (UCC), which has moved up from the 151-200 to the 101-150 band in environmental sciences, and is now among the top 151-200 in the education category, joining Trinity, UCD and the University of Limerick in the top 200.

Meanwhile, Dublin City University (DCU) has made it into the 151-200 band of politics and international studies for the first time and retains a similar ranking in computer science and information systems .

Both NUI Maynooth and UCD are rated between 51-100 in English while top 200 placings for NUI Galway include accounting and finance and sociology,

The disciplines where Ireland has no top 200 listings are earth and marine sciences, material science and communication and media studies.

Globally, Harvard remains the best all-round institution, ranking first in 11 of the 30 disciplines, two more than neighbouring rival Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

For the rankings by subject, 3,002 universities were evaluated on the basis of research citations and reputational surveys of over 90,000 academics and graduate employers worldwide.

Irish Independent

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