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The Times Higher Education (THE) released their world university rankings last week which show a jump for UCD. The university is has risen 53 places to be 176th in the world, a rank it shares with Eindhoven University in the Netherlands. The recent rankings list 800 universities, their largest compilation yet.

UCD recently dropped in the rankings of another standalone organisation, QS. Both rankings systems use different indicators to compile their lists. THE rankings include research output, citations of the university, international outlook, industry income and teaching.  One area in which UCD fell down in both lists was staff to student ratio.

President Andrew Deeks welcomed the announcement and noted that recent cutbacks had affected UCD’s standing: “What is keeping us back is the deficit in State investment in our universities in comparison with other countries.” He claimed that Ireland needed to look at the European model of investment in third-level “such as the Netherlands, which has 12 universities in the top 200.”

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has fallen in both rankings and now stands at 160th in the world according to THE.  This narrows the gap between UCD and TCD to just 16 places.

Overall nine Irish universities are included in the most recent THE list with NUI Maynooth and University College Cork between 351 and 400 in the world.  This sees a fall from 276-300 for UCC in THE’s last rankings.  NUI Galway and the Royal College of Surgeons fared better, with both between 251 and 300.  The lowest ranked Irish institution is Dublin Institute of Technology which comes in between 601 and 800 in the world.

THE rankings show an improvement for European institutions in general with a greater number of UK, German and Dutch universities in the top 200 than last year. The USA has seen a fall in the number of their institutions in the same quarter with 63 institutions listed this year, compared to 74 in 2015.

Despite their fall in THE rankings, UCC has recently been announced as the Sunday Times University of the year. This accolade is based on the “Good University Guide”, published by the Times every year, which focuses on Irish Institutions. This year, Cork Institute of Technology was named IT of the year with IT Sligo the runner up.

UCC President Dr Michael Murphy welcomed the award saying it “recognises UCC’s tradition of independent thinking, exceptional student experience, considerable track record for innovation and particularly our rate of graduate employment. It is also welcome recognition of the hard work of staff, students and all those who contribute to our success.”

The Times’ guide is based on both university profiles of success and student experience. It takes into account the amount each institution spends on students combined with student engagement.