Saturday 16 December 2017

Our universities fail to make the world's top 200

John Walshe

IRISH universities have again failed to make the top 200 in the world, according to the latest international rankings.

Trinity and UCD are unchanged, while UCC has dropped to between 400-500 of the world's best universities.

But the country's four other universities -- NUI Maynooth, Galway, DCU and the University of Limerick -- did not even make the cut at 500.

The tables are compiled by the Jiao Tong University in Shanghai and attract considerable attention internationally. They have been published since 2003.

The US still dominates, with eight universities in the top 10 and 54 in the top 100. Harvard remains the No 1 in the world for the eighth year, followed by Berkeley and Stanford.

Trinity is the top-ranked Irish university, remaining in the 201-300 category of the world's best universities and between 75-123 in Europe. UCD remains in the 301-400 bracket in the world and between 124-168 in Europe.

But UCC, which had moved up into the 301-400 category last year, has slipped back to the lowest published category -- between 401 and 500. No comment was available from UCC last night.

Although very influential, the Shanghai ratings are not without their critics. European universities say there is too much reliance on the number of Nobel prizes and on articles published in nature and science magazines.

Irish universities also point out that they do better in other international rankings, such as those published by the 'Times Higher Education' magazine where Trinity in particular, followed by UCD, have improved their position significantly in recent years.

Irish Independent

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