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Trinity College Dublin breaks back into the world’s top 100 universities as UCD falls but remains in top 200

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Trinity College Dublin. Stock image

Trinity College Dublin. Stock image

© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2022 https://www.topuniversities.com/. All rights reserved.

© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2022 https://www.topuniversities.com/. All rights reserved.

© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2022 https://www.topuniversities.com/. All rights reserved.

© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2022 https://www.topuniversities.com/. All rights reserved.

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Trinity College Dublin. Stock image

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is back in the top 100 of a global university league.

Ireland’s oldest higher education institution is rated 98th in the QS World University Rankings 2023, up three places on last year.

It breaks a five-year run outside the top 100, an improvement attributed to a rise in its academic reputation, based on how often its research papers are cited internationally.

Welcoming its move up the table, Trinity’s Provost Dr Linda Doyle said it was “great news for Ireland’s global reputation”.

Prof Doyle said that rankings had shortcomings in how they measured all that was happening in a university, but they were watched closely internationally, and it was “hugely important for Trinity and for Ireland that we are in the Top 100”.

But there are continuing warnings that Ireland will need to boost investment in higher education if it is to keep pace, or advance, in an increasingly competitive international stage

University College Dublin (UCD) is Ireland’s second highest-ranked university in the QS table and the only other Irish institution to make the top 200, although it fell from 173rd last year to 181st.

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© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2022 https://www.topuniversities.com/. All rights reserved.

© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2022 https://www.topuniversities.com/. All rights reserved.

© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2022 https://www.topuniversities.com/. All rights reserved.

NUI Galway, University College Cork (UCC) University of Limerick (UL) and Maynooth University (MU) also lost ground. Meanwhile Dublin City University (DCU) is Ireland’s most improved university, climbing 19 positions to 471st place. Its most significant gains were in the citations per faculty category, indicating a strong performance in research. Technological University |Dublin remains in the same position as last year.

The QS ranking uses six indicators, including academic and employer reputation, based on survey responses from more than 150,000 academics and 99,000 employers. The citations per faculty measures research impact while academic staff-student ratio is used as a proxy for teaching capacity. The numbers of international students and staff are also measured.

Overall, Ireland has improved on its reputation among employers, and displays a research prevalence in medicine.

NUI Galway boasts Ireland’s highest academic staff-student ratio, indicating small class sizes, placed at 183rd in this measure, compared with 424th for UCC. Despite this, NUI Galway fell by 12 positions overall to sit 270th, driven by drops in all other indicators.

An obstacle to Irish universities moving up global rankings are the high ratio of students to staff, largely because of State funding cuts imposed a decade ago after the financial crash.

QS senior vice president Ben Sowter said the “positive reputational” trends in Ireland suggest that the country’s universities are continuing to command the respect of employers and are nurturing students for success in work.”

But he added: “With Ireland experiencing record enrolment numbers, the challenge remains financial. Indeed, the obstacles to further improvement are clearest in the areas that require consistent investment: teaching capacity, for example.

“In many respects, Ireland’s institutions are performing well. However, in an increasingly competitive global environment, the limits to their success will be defined by investment.”

Further and Higher Education Minster Simon Harris recently announced a new €307m investment plan for higher education called Funding the Future, although the fine details have not been announced.

Dr Doyle said further government funding to tackle Trinity’s staff-student ratio was key to ensuring it remained in the Top 100.

“While I welcome the government’s recent ‘Funding the Future’ announcement, this must now be delivered upon. Investment in third-level education benefits our students and our society,” she said.

This year’s QS rankings is the largest ever, with 1,418 institutions across 100 locations, up from 1,300 last year. The results account for the distribution and performance of 16.4 million academic papers published between 2016 and 2020 and the 117.8 million citations received by those papers.

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© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2022 https://www.topuniversities.com/. All rights reserved.

© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2022 https://www.topuniversities.com/. All rights reserved.

© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2022 https://www.topuniversities.com/. All rights reserved.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieves a record-extending 11th consecutive year as world number one. The University of Cambridge has risen to second place, while Stanford University remains in third position.



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