Most Irish colleges have been graded above international averages for teaching and learning standards in an international ranking system.

The U-Multirank system assessed 18 Irish universities and institutes of technology under 25 headings, with University College Cork (UCC) receiving 15 A scores.

This was two more than it received last year and makes it the highest Irish scorer of top grades in the 2018 ranking published yesterday.

It was followed by Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), which were both awarded 13 As, and Dublin City University’s 12.

When comparing the overall performance across the international average for 1,600 colleges across 95 countries, 13 (72.5%) of the Irish institutions performed above average under the teaching and learning heading.

This combines scores for graduation rates for undergraduate degrees and graduating on time for masters students.

On regional engagement, the Irish system also performs strongly as nearly 60% of Irish colleges score above average, and only one in five of those measured under related categories were below average.

Irish colleges were only slightly more likely to be above — rather than below — average under international orientation, knowledge transfer and research headings. However, Athlone Institute of Technology emerged as one of the top 25 colleges in the world for inter-disciplinary research.

Among the sub-categories for which UCC received its 15 A scores were co-publications with industrial partners, international student mobility and the proportion of degree holders working in the local region.

CIT received a A grade under regional engagement, but also for international joint research publications, helping to increase its number of As from 12 to 13 since last year.

Designed to highlight a range of strengths and weaknesses in applicable headings, U-Multirank differs from more traditional university rankings which offer combined scores under different categories to numerically rank institutions in a system that tends to favour larger and older institutions.

The different approach of the system initiated by the European Commission has served to highlight some of the strengths of institutes of technology which are not always emphasised in other rankings.

In a subject-level derivation last autumn, six Irish institutes of technology were given top scores for science under the various headings such as teaching, research and international orientation.

Internationally, the latest rankings show that the highest proportion of top scores under various headings were achieved in the US, Britain, France, Germany, Chinese Taipei, Spain, and Japan.


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