Trinity College Dublin today calls on the government to work with universities to develop a national strategy on rankings to reverse the slide in rankings witnessed in many Irish universities over the past decade.
The call comes after a significant decline in Trinity’s ranking from 120th position last year to 164th place this year. The latest decline is part of a pattern which began in the years following the financial crisis when funding per student was drastically cut. It also follows defunding of investigator-led research funding to universities, having an impact on publication output and innovation. A similar fall next year would mean that no university in Ireland would be ranked in the top 200 by Times Higher Education.
Much of the decline is relative as other countries invest in education. Trinity’s decline came despite good performances across many categories. This included the University’s capacity to attract international students and participate in significant international research collaborations.
Commenting on the ranking, Dean of Research, Professor Linda Doyle said:
“This is an undoubtedly disappointing result. Looking at the scores behind the rank, our performance is steady. However, this is not good enough in a world that sees many of our global competitors improve their scores through focused and sustained investment by their governments. There is no denying that continuing under investment in university education and research in Ireland is catching up with us.”
“A knowledge economy needs strong knowledge institutions. The only way up is through investment that prioritises excellence. Next month’s Budget is perhaps the last opportunity to ensure that Ireland continues to have at least one university ranked in the top 200.”
“Higher education rankings need to be made a national priority as other countries have done. We need to target funding where it can make a real impact. It is essential that we remain highly ranked to ensure that Ireland remains an attractive centre for global investment and a country renowned for the talent of its people.”