Image - Education RankingsThe Times Higher Education (THE) International University Rankings published for 2015 has seen UCD climb 53 places to sit in the 176th-200th bracket. The findings come following a disappointing 2014 display which left UCD languishing in the 226th-250th bracket, having reached the heights of 89th place in the world in 2009.

The contrast between the THE ranking and the QS survey, which saw UCD slip 15 places,

Following the publication of the 2014 THE findings, Professor Deeks, President of UCD, warned that; “Clearly a table with big swings each year generates more attention than one that changes slowly,” before explaining that “universities, by their nature, change on a long time scale.” Deeks appeared to suggest that the ranking was more sensationalist than objective in its nature, a fact which may apply to UCD’s large leap in 2015.

The margin between UCD and neighbours Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has closed to just 16 places in accordance to the most recent rankings, as Ireland’s highest ranked third level institute fell 22 places. The current position of Dublin’s leading universities is a far cry from that of the 2010/2010 world rankings which saw TCD at 76th and UCD at 94th.

The declining positions of Irish universities in the THE rankings has put the spotlight back on the Department of Education, and the funding it provides for third-level institutions. Professor Deeks said that the decline was caused by a “deficit in State investment in our universities in comparison with other countries” as he highlighted the ‘strong commitment in other European countries such as the Netherlands which has 12 universities in the top 200” as evidence of what government intervention can do to improve the situation.

Author: Conor Nealon