Nursing programmes shine - but other departments fall in global university tables
Irish universities are home to two of the world's top 40 nursing schools, according to the latest global league tables.
Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is ranked 25th and University College Dublin (UCD) is 31st in the QS 2018 World University Rankings by Subject.
But while there is good news for some university departments, overall Irish institutions have suffered more year-on-year falls than improvements in the listings.
The table, which ranks the world's top universities for the study of 48 different disciplines, includes six top-50 placements for Ireland.
UCD achieves Ireland's highest position for any subject, rising five places to 24th for veterinary science.
Trinity has four of Ireland's six top-50 listings, and is placed 28th in classics and ancient history, 28th for English language and literature and 43rd for politics and international studies.
Ireland's strongest subject is nursing, with four universities in the global top 100, and the country also shows strengths in arts and humanities, with 11 top-100 placements, and in life sciences and medicine, with 10 top-100 placements. But Ireland only features once among the engineering and technology top 100.
Overall, Irish universities suffered about twice the number of falls in rankings than improvements.
The higher education sector blames cuts in Government funding during the financial crisis, which have affected issues such as staff-student ratios, for a general decline in Ireland's showing in such tables.
The rankings are based on a review of 1,130 institutions in 151 countries, and universities are scored according to academic reputation, employer reputation and research citations.