In its Best Universities in Europe 2016 rankings, Times Higher Education (THE) has ranked Trinity College Dublin 78th out of 200 European universities.
This was the first time that THE put together rankings composed solely of European institutions, although the rankings, which were released yesterday, drew on data from the annual World University Rankings 2015-2016, which were released last September.
Last year’s World Rankings, which included 800 universities from 70 countries, and graded institutions according to teaching environment, research environment, research influence, industry income, and international outlook, saw Trinity fall 22 places: from 138th to 160th.
With the exception of 2012-2013, Trinity’s rank has fallen year on year since the THE began publishing rankings in 2010. The information displayed on Trinity’s Public Affairs and Communications Office’s webpage might be seen to be representative of the discomfiture of staff and students in the face of Trinity’s seemingly ever-shrinking international reputation: although the page was updated as recently as last month, it still cites the THE’s 2014 rankings, which put Trinity College in 48th place among its European counterparts.
Nonetheless Trinity still maintains its position as the highest ranked Irish third-level institution, and the European rankings stressed Ireland’s strong performance relative to its population size. Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland are also in this category, while Spain finds itself in the opposite camp. With a population almost ten-times that of Ireland, it has five universities in Europe’s top 200, compared to Ireland which counts six. University College Dublin came in 88th position, National University of Ireland, Galway and Royal College of Surgeons ranked 134th and 135th place respectively, University College Cork came in 186th place, while National University of Ireland Maynooth slipped in at 193rd place.
Eastern and Southern European universities fared worst. Russia, with five institutions in the top 200, ranked lowest with regard to its GDP, while Spain ranked second lowest.