NUI Galway falls 100 spots in world university rankings

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NUI Galway has fallen 100 places in the latest World University Rankings compared with last year.

The Times Higher Education Rankings for 2019 just released place NUI Galway in the 301 – 350 category of the world’s top universities, a major drop from last year when it ranked in 201 – 250.

The significant drop in university rankings this year has seen NUIG slip in its placement among Ireland’s colleges.

In the 2018 rankings released last year NUI Galway placed second in Ireland behind Trinity, but this year has seen it fall below UCD and the Royal College of Surgeons as their rankings stayed steady.

Most institutes in Ireland have either fallen in university rankings or else held static in their position.

Trinity remain the highest ranked higher education institute in Ireland at 120th place, down three spots from last year.

DIT, the only Irish Institute of Technology on the list dropped dramatically from 601 – 800 down to 801 – 1000.

UCD and the Royal College of Surgeons both held steady at 201 – 250, as did DCU at 401 – 500 and University of Limerick at 501 – 600.

But UCC and Maynooth University both bucked the trend by climbing the rankings. UCC went up from 351 – 400 to 301 – 350, and Maynooth placed in 351 – 400, up from 401 – 500.

While NUIG and other universities have fallen many places compared to their global counterparts, the results are less because of an overall decline in quality than because investment simply isn’t keeping pace what’s happening around the world.

The THE Higher Education Rankings marks universities based on five categories: Teaching, Research, Citations, Industry Income, and International Outlook.

At NUIG those scores largely remained steady, with only Citations seeing any significant decline from a score of 80.5 last year to 71.9 in the latest results.

Ellie Bothwell, ranking editor for the Time Higher Education Ranking said that Ireland has the potential from Brexit and the US turning inwards, but that this will require heavy investment.

Funding for higher education in Ireland was slashed dramatically during the financial crisis and has yet to properly recover.

The Department of Education has said the government is spending €100 million more on higher education than two years ago, and will invest €2 billion in the sector of the next decade.

But other international markets are on the rise, with the number of Chinese institutes ranking undergoing dramatic growth.

Overall 72 Chinese institutes feature in the table this year, up from 63 last year. This year also marks the first time a Chinese institute,  Tsinghua University, has topped the list of Asian entries.

The top of the list remains dominated by the same names as previous years, with Oxford and Cambridge keeping the top two spots and all of the top ten being from the UK or United States.