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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018
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Irish colleges fall down in international rankings

Only one Irish university did not fall in the league table.

Image: Shutterstock/Rob Wilson

ONLY ONE IRISH college managed not to fall in the rankings of international universities published today.

NUI Galway rose 22 places to 249th, while Trinity and UCD went down by 20 and 22 places respectively.

The ranking, compiled by QS World University Rankings, show Trinity College is still the top-performing university in Ireland – in 98th place.

UCD is 176th, while University College Cork fell 50 places to 283. Dublin City University has dropped from 353 to 380.

The rankings from over 4,300 third level institutions puts Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston at number one, followed by Stanford and Harvard.

Breaking point 

The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) believes the status of Irish universities is being brought to breaking point following a decade of government enforced financial cutbacks and staffing cuts, combined with rapidly increasing student numbers.

IFUT General Secretary, Mike Jennings, said that Irish universities can expect ongoing undermining of their standing internationally.

While rating systems are deficient in significant ways they do indicate how our education system is monitored and evaluated worldwide.

“Government policy towards funding and staffing in the sector is the primary cause of the current malaise. Between 2007 and 2014, state funding for universities fell by 28%, from €722.8m in 2007 to €522.2m.

“This was matched by an increase in full-time enrolment in our seven universities of 18%, from 78,577 in 2008 to 93,023 in 2014.

“It is shocking to realise that student to academic staff ratios were worse in 2011 than those described in the report of the Commission on Higher Education (1967) and increased from 19.4: 1 in 2007 to 23.0: 1 in 2011.”

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