IFUT critical of university rankings

The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has criticised the validity of the rankings process used to determine alleged ‘top’ universities in the Times Higher Education rankings.

IFUT General Secretary, Mike Jennings said: “Since there are approximately 17,000 Higher Education institutions in the world, any university within the top 500 is therefore in the top 3% world-wide. What is so remarkable is how many Irish universities come within this category despite our calamitous cuts in funding and staffing.”

“Small changes in these rankings are given an exaggerated importance way beyond their merit. Most academics are completely sceptical about the validity of the rankings process.”

“No one seriously believes that the quality of the student experience in, for example, NUIG is any less than, say, in UCC just because one college is at a higher point in the latest rankings league.”

“It is strange that most informed commentators regard comparative ranking of second-level schools to be inaccurate and counter-productive. Yet many of these same people appear to almost literally fall over themselves to welcome a tiny move upwards in a third-level ranking scheme which is at least as unreliable,” Mr Jennings said.