Trinity College Dublin has fallen 22 places in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, dropping from 138th to 160th position.
The annual rankings, released today, are based on five main performance indicators: teaching (30%), research (30%), citations (30%), international outlook (7.5%) and industry income (2.5%).
Despite its overall fall in ranking, Trinity remains Ireland’s highest ranked institution, while the college’s reputation in the individual categories of teaching and research, international outlook, and the number of research papers by academic staff also rose.
Trinity’s Dean of Research, John Boland, welcomed the results, remarking that they were commendable “given the extent of the international competition” and the fact that the rankings have this year been extended to cover twice the number of institutions as previously. However, he said, “resourcing at internationally competitive levels” will be required if Trinity is “to sustain its position and increase further worldwide.”
In a live blog run by Trinity News over the past number of days, students have highlighted some of the problems caused by a lack of resources and administrative issues in the college. According to one anonymous student, inadequate seating space in three lectures meant that some students had to sit on tables and the floor: “The first three of my lectures were booked in rooms 20 people too small. Resulting in nearly half the class sitting on the floor. Group of Americans absolutely astounded that this is normal for Trinity.” These types of problems seem to be ones which arise from lack of resources that John Boland refers to.
Phil Baty, editor of the THE World University Rankings, echoed Boland, saying that, while it is “great news that Ireland has nine institutions in this table, with two of these firmly sitting in the top 200,” the country “will have to put higher education further up its national agenda if it is to truly make its mark in this prestigious list.”
The rankings include eight other Irish institutions. University College Dublin ranked joint 176th position, a significant increase compared to last year when it placed in the 226-250th bracket. Both the National University of Ireland, Galway and the Royal College of Surgeons feature in the top 300 universities, ranking in the 251-300th bracket. The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, University College Cork, Dublin City University, University of Limerick and Dublin Institute of Technology also placed in the rankings.
The United States continues to dominate the list of top universities, with California Institute of Technology taking first place. The United Kingdom is second to the US for highest ranked universities, with Oxford placing second. Continental European institutions, meanwhile, are eroding the traditional dominance of Anglo-American universities. ETH Zurich is at the fore of this as the first institution from outside the US and UK to make the world top 10 in a decade.