Trinity has ranked 81st in the world in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.
This is a 17-place increase compared to last year when Trinity ranked 98th in the world. This is also College’s highest ranking since 2015, when it came 71st, reflecting an upward trend.
The QS rankings measure the performance of the world’s top 1,499 universities across 104 countries.
College’s highest QS World University Ranking ever was in 2009 at 43rd. Its subsequent decrease coincided with the global financial crisis and austerity measures.
In a statement, College said that this significant improvement is based in part on an increase in funding “from various sources”, including Government, as well as “the ability of our talented community to respond during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
It said this increased support “enabled strong research outputs which are reflected in a significant improvement in Trinity’s performance in the citations per faculty metric”.
Trinity similarly performed well on academic reputation, a metric based on survey responses from international academics, which College said indicates “the high esteem in which Trinity researchers are held worldwide”.
The rankings see Trinity remain Ireland’s top ranked institution, though seven of Ireland’s eight universities also improved their position compared to last year.
Despite the significant boost to Trinity’s position, leaders in College have said that further investment is necessary to maintain high performance and international competitiveness.
Provost Linda Doyle said: “Rankings don’t reflect the full breadth of all the important things we do, and we have lots more to be proud of in Trinity. Still, this outcome is good news for us.”
She continued: “But I’ll be clear – we need proper sustained long-term investment in people and infrastructure to ensure the conditions exist for our students and staff to excel.”
“Investment such as this in higher education benefits our students, our society, and Ireland’s standing in the world.”
College’s Dean of Research Dr. Sinéad Ryan said: “Researchers in Trinity have always produced excellent, impactful research of the highest standard that is recognised by their peers around the world. However, they do this with infrastructure and equipment that is crumbling and in a system that has been chronically underfunded for years.”
She continued to note the importance of funding, saying: “While a good performance is always welcome, this year’s rankings highlight the need for more sustained government funding to keep Ireland’s universities internationally competitive and to continue nurturing talent, enabling discovery, and pushing the boundaries of human knowledge.”
In a Tweet, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris congratulated universities on the rankings, calling them “a vote of confidence in the Irish higher education and a signal of the benefits of ongoing policy focus and investment” in the sector.
In October of last year, Trinity ranked 161st in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, a 15-place drop compared to the previous year, which Doyle attributed to College’s high student-staff ratios, calling for increased government funding to tackle the issue.