Trinity ranked 161st in in Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Provost Linda Doyle highlighted high staff-student ratios as a key weakness and called for increased government funding to tackle them

Trinity has ranked 161st in the world in the 2023 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

This is a 15-place drop compared to last year. Trinity has maintained its position as the top-ranked university in Ireland in the THE rankings.

The rankings included a record 1,799 universities from around the world, with results based on five categories: teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income.

In a statement, Provost Linda Doyle said: “We are proud of the fantastic work of our staff and students, and we have performed strongly in categories such as citations, a reflection of how well acknowledged Trinity research is.”

She continued: “We must always strive to do better. We know rankings never capture all that any university has to offer, and they should not drive our behaviour. Rather, our behaviour should drive the rankings.”

She noted that Trinity “scored strongly in several categories in the 2023 THE World University rankings such as international profile” but that Trinity’s overall ranking has suffered due to our high student-staff ratios”.

“More importantly than the rankings, it also hurts the education experience of our students.”

Doyle blamed high student-staff ratios on underfunding of higher education, saying: “The poor staff-student ratio is directly related to the under-funding of the higher education sector in Ireland.”

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) last month expressed disappointment in higher education funding measures in Budget 2023, highlighting that the €40m provided for the deficit in core funding represents just 13% of the €307m gap in funding identified by government earlier this year.

The provost added: “It is vital that government honours the commitment made earlier this year in ‘Funding the Future’ and increase annual core funding by €307m for the higher education sector in Ireland. This would allow us to hire more staff and tackle the issue of staff-student ratios. Until this is addressed, these rankings will remain precarious for us.”

In June, the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings ranked Trinity 98th in the world, placing it within the top 100 for the first time in five years in those rankings.

Speaking at the time, Doyle also called for “further government funding to tackle our staff-student ratio”, saying that it was key to remaining in the top 100.

David Wolfe

David Wolfe is a Junior Sophister student of History and Political Science. He is the current Social Media and Managing Editor of Trinity News, having previously served as News Editor, Assistant News Editor and copyeditor.