James Downey: Sinn Fein is on the way to replacing Fianna Fail
BIG news broke on Thursday -- and I don't mean big news about the race to Aras an Uachtarain. This newspaper reported the big news that our two leading universities, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, had fallen out of the top 100 in the world rankings. TCD dropped from 76 to 117 and UCD crashed from 94 to 159.
Somewhat in the manner of rating agencies that purport to assess a country's creditworthiness, there are various bodies that rank universities. Like opinion polls -- of which more in a moment -- their methods and results may differ. But they do tell us something about the performance of overpaid and underachieving academics.
Other surveys have brought us even more disturbing findings about the state of affairs in secondary education. The faults of the education system are replicated everywhere in the higher reaches of the Irish bureaucracy and in the interface between the administration and the private sector.