Trinity has placed joint 117th in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for the 2017-18 academic year. This puts Trinity in first place out of the nine universities in the Republic of Ireland. The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge were placed in the first and second spots respectively.
The rankings, which examine 1,102 third level institutions around the globe, are decided using five pillars, each of which the THE says “represents a key area of higher education excellence”. These pillars are teaching, research, citations, industry income, and international outlook. Trinity performed well in international outlook, ranked 44th, and teaching, with a ranking of 121st.
Last year, Trinity was temporarily removed from the rankings following the submission of incorrect data for the 2016-17 and 2015-16 academic years. They were later ranked at joint 131st and joint 101st respectively.
Trinity has made attempts to increase their position through the creation of a Ranking Steering Group. The group is chaired by the Provost, Patrick Prendergast, and focuses on areas such as citations, staff composition, outputs and funding levels.
The rankings add to a reversal of recent trends, with Trinity also rising in the QS rankings in June, rising to 88th from 98th place. Prior to this year, Trinity had fallen consistently in the QS rankings for the past three years, from 61st in 2013/14 to 98th in 2016/17. Meanwhile, Trinity fell in the THE rankings for four years in a row, with the exception of 2015/16.
Dean of Research, Professor John Boland said in a press statement: “This has been a good year for Trinity in the rankings. We have achieved this result today despite so many challenging factors, including the rise of Asia-Pacific countries due to much greater investment, intense global competition, but also the continued chronic underfunding of higher education in Ireland. It is a testament to the excellence of our teaching, research and overall educational experience. All of which is made possible by the sheer commitment of our great staff.”