Tag Archives: rankings

Trinity College Dublin: A Case of Rankings Abuse

Trinity College Dublin: A Case of Rankings AbuseTrinity College Dublin (TCD) is giving itself a public flogging over its fall in the rankings. This is rather odd since in fact it has been doing pretty well over the last few years with one exception.

It seems that TCD is doing the academic equivalent of taking a dive.


Source: University Ranking Watch: Trinity College Dublin: A Case of Rankings Abuse

Time for the state to shift its AHSS on higher education policy?

Ranking season is upon us with the QS rankings of subject areas (not, as is commonly though, Departments) now revealed. Again we find that despite the hype Irish universities are stronger in Arts and Humanities than in the STEM areas. This is in stark contrast to the financial flows to these areas and in even starker contrast to the government and regulatory thrust. Evidence of sustained internationally recognised quality in the AHSS (arts, humanities and social science) area does not translate into funding, support or recognition. Perhaps its time it did?

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Irish Business Schools – Rankings 2015

Rankings are like the closing days of Gay Byrne’s tenure in the Late Late Show. There is one for everybody in the Audience. A new ranking has been gaining ground recently, Eduniversal Ranking, based mostly on interviews. Irish Business Schools are doing quite well. Continue reading

So...just how bad are Irish Universities?

So, the THES world rankings are out and there will no doubt be the usual wailing and fingerpointing. Why are no Irish universities in the top 10? the top 100? etc etc (hint…its expensive to be there….) .
Yes, there are issues in what the rankings tell us, and I will return to that. But for the moment, look at the chart here. Its a graph of the number of top 200 universities per country scaled to millions of population. If we were the same size as the larger island next door this suggests we would have approx the same number as they do. Is UK higher ed in a terminal crisis (feel free to not answer!).

The reality is that we have world class universities. We need to invest more in them. The only question is where the money comes from. But bear in mind – there are 16,000 or so universities in the world. The top 400 where we have 5 ( in addition to TCD and UCD in the top 200 we also have UCC, NUIG and NUIM) represents the top 2.5%. The top 200 is the top 1.25%.

How many of the reporters, commentators, pundits, critics and analysts who will opine on the awful state of universities are in the top 3% of their profession in the world? How many of the politicians….?

Actually, Irish universities are really outstanding.

dataIrish universities are world class. Really. So says the Shanghai rankings, the ones that perhaps are most heavily weighted against the strengths of Irish unis. How do we know? Well the 2013  rankings season kicks off with the Shanghai Academic Rankings. Expect mutterings along the lines of “sure its terrible, we have no universities in the top 100 of the Shanghai rankings” and “bloody academics, useless, wastes of money, look no Irish university in the top 100, world class me eye” and so on. No doubt similar wailing will happen when the THES rankings come out, with slightly different metrics.

Lets leave aside the peculiarities of rankings. Lets leave aside the odd rankings methodology of Shanghai which is very very heavily skewed towards a particular set of sciences. Lets look at the big picture.

There are approx 12000 universities in the world  , defined as one that have some web presence. In the 2013 Shanghai data TCD comes in in the 200-300 region, UCD and UCC in the 300-400. Thats three universites in the “top” 3%. They have been there since 2011 so this is consistent. In the broader based Times Higher we have TCD at 110 and UCD at 187, two in the top 200 or top 2%.

Question : how many Irish institutions, public or private are consistently ranked by peers, customers, and input providers as being in the top 2% of their peers in the world?

Answers on a postcard please.

TCD : ‘Leiden’ the pack in Irish universities

The Leiden world university rankings are out. We’re ranked at 48, up from 63 last year, and have therefore moved into the top 50 in the world in this ranking. UCD is ranked 281, UCC 181. Which is nice…but dont get too carried away.

The Leiden methodology uses research and collaboration metrics only – no ‘reputation’ surveys and no attempt at those problematic/questionable ‘teaching’ metrics used by the THE . So, its like all of these, partial and incomplete. But in so far as it goes it is very solid  The ranking is presented based on research impact, but views by other indicators are also available. See here for the full set .

Leiden Ranking – Research impact in Europe:

We rank at 9 in Europe. UCC is at 79 in Europe. Queen’s University Belfast is at 102 in Europe. UCD appears at 121 in Europe.

Leiden Ranking – Biomedical and Health Sciences:

We’re at 36 in the world and 8 in Europe in Biomedical and Health Sciences. UCD 243 worldwide, UCC 119.

Leiden Ranking – Life and earth sciences:

TCD is at 165 in the world and 70 in Europe. UCD 243, UCC 148 worldwide

Leiden Ranking – Mathematics and computer science:

TCD is at 73 in the world and 14 in Europe, UCD 187, UCC 358

Leiden Ranking – Natural sciences and Engineering:

TCD is 48 in the world and 10 in Europe, UCD 255, UCC 241.

Leiden Ranking – Social Sciences and Humanities

TCD is 114 in the world and 31 in Europe, UCD 248