Good news is no news for Irish universities it seems

This week was a busy one for news, what with the ongoing Boston marathon manhunt, the CP2 disagreement etc. But, in the university area at least one good news story was broken. The Leiden rankings (yes, yes, rankings, we know…) emerged and TCD (and to a lesser extent UCD and UCC ) did well indeed. In fact, TCD was ranked in the top 50 universities in terms of its research impact, worldwide. the Leiden rankings are one of the few that are objective in total, simply measuring research impact under a variety of methods. While this has advantages and disadvantages, its clean.

The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2013 measures the scientific performance of 500 major universities worldwide. Using a sophisticated set of bibliometric indicators, the ranking aims to provide highly accurate measurements of the scientific impact of universities and of universities’ involvement in scientific collaboration. The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2013 is based on Web of Science indexed publications from the period 2008–2011.

When we think of it thats quite astonishing. How many private companies in Ireland would be ranked in the top 50 worldwide? Indeed, given that there are about 18000 universities worldwide, how many Irish institutions public, or private in any area of activity are ranked in the top half of a percent? So, one might imagine that this was noted? Right…?

Wrong.  I cant find a single report on it (using Lexis-Nexis) in any Irish publication. Not a word. Compare this to the annual orgy of blame and breast beating when Irish universities dont get into the THES world top 100, or the Shanghai rankings, both tremendous but in large part subjective measures. More baffling is that theres no press release or communication on TCD’s website celebrating this.

Subjective bad news > objective good news it seems. Its almost like there was some sort of agenda about Irish higher education….




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