Irish universities make the grade in new European rankings
IRELAND'S universities have scored highly in a new European ranking system.
Most finished in the top half of the U-Multirank system, with the stand-out performers being Dublin City University (DCU), University College Cork (UCC), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), who all finished in the top 10pc.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said that Irish colleges and universities had been "punching above their weight" for years with a burgeoning international reputation for excellence.
The top rankings are being hailed as a strategic boost for the sector, given the expansion of the multi-billion European overseas student sector.
The four Irish colleges finished in the top tier of the U-Multirank system, which does not offer a league table assessment of performance but rather gauges each college on a wide range of issues.
U-Multirank is backed by the EU and organised by the University of Twente (Holland) and the education body CHE in Germany.
A total of 879 universities and colleges were assessed under the new system.
Universities are assessed on a marking system from 'A' for excellent to 'E' for very poor across a range of disciplines ranging from research to graduate studies and facilities Ireland's top performers were DCU (15 As), UCC (14 As), NUIG (12 As) and CIT (11 As). All four made it into the top 10pc.
Other Irish universities performed well, despite the fact not all had been fully assessed under the 30 judging criteria.
These included Dublin Institute of Technology (eight As), Trinity College Dublin (seven As), University College Dublin (six As), Letterkenny Institute of Technology (four As) and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (four As).
The ratings came after Mr Quinn had staunchly defended Irish universities earlier this year after all had failed to get into the top 100 of the WRR global college league table.
He said all seven Irish universities finished in the top 600 of the WRR rankings despite the fact there are over 15,000 colleges operating worldwide.