THE recent QS University Rankings disgruntled many Irish universities as everyone bar NUI Galway experienced a drop in their scores. UCD went from 154th in 2015 to 176th in 2016. Trinity College Dublin, the only Irish university to remain in the top 100, dropped from 78th to 98th this year.

However one positive conclusion from this year’s ranking was the Irish Arts and Humanities’ performance. It far outpaced most of the competing STEM schools (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). This is despite STEM degrees being strongly encouraged to students who consider third level education.

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Trinity saw their Humanities subjects excel in the world rankings. This included English holding firm at 32 and Modern Languages jumping from 49 in 2015 to 39 this year. However top place was claimed by STEM subject, Nursing (31), in its first year of evaluation.

Likewise UCD saw four Humanities subjects holding their 2015 places in the top 100. While three UCD STEM courses were in the top 100, including Veterinary Nursing who earned best overall at 31, up from 40 in 2015. Overall the arts and humanities faculty fell from last year down to 135 from 117.

The Humanities subjects frequently positioned higher than their university’s world ranking. This recent result shows that in spite of the State’s emphasis on STEM subjects, the Arts and Humanities continue to excel.