Irish universities fail to make it into top 100

By Niall Murray, Education Correspondent

There are no Irish colleges for a second year running in the 100 universities ranked by reputation among international academics.

Almost half of the universities in the Times Higher Education (THE) 2014 World Reputation Rankings are from the United States, including the top three of Harvard, Massachussetts Institute of Technology and Stanford. But like wider university rankings, key Asian colleges are making most progress, in this case at the expense of UK and other institutions.

The wider THE World University Rankings last October, based on 13 indicators, showed a fall for Ireland’s highest-placed Trinity College Dublin (TCD). But while it dropped 19 places to 129th, University College Dublin moved from 187th to 161st and University College Cork moved into the top 300.

More than 10,500 responses were received from 133 countries for the compilation of the latest reputation rankings. Senior academics were asked to nominate up to 15 of the best institutions in their own field of expertise, based on their knowledge and experience.

A TCD spokesperson said it is not surprising that universities such as Harvard, Stanford and Oxford lead in terms of reputation and that well-funded universities in Asia are also beginning to feature.

“A world class university system requires resourcing at internationally competitive levels and for Trinity to sustain its position and increase further worldwide, requires sustained investment in the university sector,” she said.

There are 20 countries represented in the list that is limited to 100 universities, with only US and UK colleges in the top 10, joined in the top 20 by Japan, Canada and Switzerland.

Irish universities were strongly represented for their arts and humanities provision in QS Subject Rankings published last week, with TCD ranked in the top 200 under most of the 30 disciplines on which international academics were surveyed. However, there was no Irish representation in the 100 ranked highest for key science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

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