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Irish universities 'won't break into the top 100 without more investment'

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Trinity College Dublin is the highest-rated Irish university in these rankings

Trinity College Dublin is the highest-rated Irish university in these rankings

Trinity College Dublin is the highest-rated Irish university in these rankings

Ireland does not feature in the latest list of the world's 100 most prestigious universities and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) says this cannot happen without more investment in higher education.

Although the 2015 UK-based Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings does not go beyond 100, Trinity is the highest-rated Irish university, falling somewhere between 150th-200th place, while University College Dublin (UCD) is outside the top 200.

For the fifth year in a row, the rankings, based on an invitation-only survey of over 10,000 senior academics in 142 countries, highlight a group of six US and UK "super-brands" that rank significantly above the rest. It is headed by Harvard University in the US and followed by the UK's Oxford and Cambridge.

Rankings editor, Phil Baty, said that while the findings were based on subjective judgments, they were the views of leading academics, whose opinion mattered greatly.

He said a university's global academic reputation was vital and was a key driver of success, helping institutions to attract the top student and academic talent as well as investment and research partners.

But Mr Baty pointed out that the top 100 was a very elite group, representing only 0.5pc of the world's 20,000 universities and it "was no great shame not to be part of it". He said Trinity's standing was "pretty impressive".

TCD Dean of Research, Professor Vinny Cahill, said that universities that benefit from sustained public and private funding generally dominate the rankings.

Prof Cahill said no Irish university had ever featured in this particular listing, but Trinity would aspire to do so.

He said the presence of a highly ranked university in Ireland would enhance the country's reputation in attracting international students, researchers and foreign direct investment.

But he said "a world- class university requires resourcing at internationally competitive levels and for Trinity to sustain its position and increase further worldwide requires adequate investment in the university sector."

Irish Independent