UCD joins Trinity in world league of top 100 universities
TWO Irish universities are ranked among the top 100 in the world in a new international league table.
Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is placed 76th and University College Dublin (UCD) ranks 94th in the 'Times Higher Education 2010-11 World University Rankings'.
This the third universities' international league table published in a month, with varying outcomes for Irish colleges, because of the different criteria used.
Last month, the so-called Shanghai rankings 2010 placed TCD and UCD in a group between 200-300th place, followed by University College Cork between 400-500th place.
Last week, the QS World University Rankings 2010 put TCD at 52nd, down nine in a year, while UCD had dropped out of the top 100, from 89th to 114th place.
The UK-based, 'Times Higher Education' table uses a new way of measuring performance, which, it claims, amounts to the most detailed, rigorous and comprehensive study ever.
The Times previously worked with QS to publish its table, but has now teamed up with global information specialist Thomson Reuters in a move that has sharpened competition in the rankings world.
Countries such as China, South Korea and Canada, which invest significantly in higher education, all scored highly under the new Times model.
Some UK universities have slipped down the ladder. TCD is now rubbing shoulders with King's College, London, at 77th place.
Apart from different criteria, while the Times rankings are based on information from the 2007-08 year, QS looked at the 2008-09 year. QS, traditionally regarded as the most accurate of the rankings, measures university research quality, graduate employability, teaching commitment and international commitment, using a combination of global surveys and audited data including citation counts from Scopus, the world's largest database of academic publishing.
The Times new rankings are based on 13 different criteria, rather than six when they worked with QS, and includes the first-ever global survey of institutions' teaching reputation.
The QS tables are based on a survey completed by 15,000 self-selected academics, while the Times invited the views of 13,000 academics.
The Shanghai rankings, published by Jiao Tong University place a considerable weighting on the number of Nobel winners on the academic staff and on articles published in nature and science magazines.
UCD president Hugh Brady said that holding a position within the top 100 was a considerable achievement given the well-documented strains on the higher education system and it had important reputational implications for Ireland.
"Once again our staff have shown that they can compete with the top universities in the world."
He said that rankings were noted at home and abroad by prospective students, internationally mobile staff and multinational companies and the latest results would play a small but important part in the re-building of Ireland's reputation".
However, in a cautionary note he said that in this, its first year of analysis, Thomson Reuters used staff and student data that preceded the Government's sweeping cuts to higher education.