try serif;”>University College Dublin and Trinity College have both fallen out of the top 100 of a prestigious international league table. In the recently published advice serif;”>Times Higher Educationphysician serif;”> (THE) World University rankings, UCD fell from 94 to 159 while Trinity College dropped forty one places, from 76 to 117.
The Rankings are developed with data provider Thomson Reuters and input received from over fifty leading figures in the sector from fifteen countries across each continent. The Times Higher Education website states that it ‘believes [they] have created the gold standard in international university performance comparison’.
In 2010, UCD received an overall score of 57.5% which fell this year to 45.9%. Similarly, Trinity College dropped 9.2% from 60.3% to 51.1%.
Performance indicators are grouped into five areas. UCD’s rating under ‘Teaching’ has collapsed from 42.4% to 25.2%, compared to Trinity College’s 51.1%. This category examines the perceived prestige of institutions among academics.
The category of ‘International Outlook’ examines the diversity on the campuses of institutions and how often university academics collaborate with international colleagues on research projects. UCD was given a high rating of 83.2% in this category; however, it was a drop of 3.8% from the previous year. Trinity College was given a higher ranking of this year of 89.4% as opposed to 84.2% in 2010. UCD’s lowest rating came under the heading of ‘Research’ with a rating of 23.7% as opposed to 36.6% in 2010. Again, the institution’s reputation amongst its peers is looked at, the focus being on a reputation for research excellence. The THEwebsite recognises that this can be influenced by economic circumstances and national policy but defends the measure as ‘research income is crucial to the development of world class research’. The category also considers the research productivity of institutions.
For the first time, Times Higher Education World University Rankings reveal the ‘Best of the Rest’ – the two hundred instructions which fall outside the official top two hundred. This reveals University College Cork sits between 300 and 350. NUI Galway and NUI Maynooth are both ranked between 351 and 400. No other Irish institutions are ranked. Conor Fox