UCC scores best rating out of Irish third-level institutions

University College Cork has emerged as the country’s top third-level institution in the second release of rankings that aim to give a broad picture of colleges’ strengths and weaknesses.

It received 11 A grades out of 16 categories and sub-headings in which colleges around the world provided data for the U-Multirank system. The result places it in the top 8% of world universities which got more than 10 As, out of more than 1,200 that took part this year.

Dublin City University, University of Limerick, and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) scored top marks under eight headings. Along with UCC, they received an A for graduation rates from bachelor degrees (under the teaching and learning category) and for publications cited in patents, a heading in the knowledge transfer category.

UCC president Michael Murphy said the result reflects ongoing sustained effort invested in its research and the student experience.

“I am particularly pleased that our reputation as an international and research-driven institution is reinforced by our strong performance in these areas,” said Mr Murphy.

Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) received six As in the U-Multirank system, which features data from 11 Irish colleges and two more which had just their research publication and patent data included. It offers itself as an alternative to traditional ranking systems, aiming to give potential students, researchers or collaborators insight into each institution’s areas of specialisation of most relevance to them.

Data was not available on teaching and learning for NUI Galway or Trinity College Dublin, but each scored five As in the remaining four main categories and their 12 sub-headings.

University College Dublin and Institute of Technology Tallaght both got three As, including one each for publications cited in patents and international joint publications, despite not having teaching and learning categories considered either.

UCC’s 11 As include top marks under all three research headings, three knowledge transfer headings, and both international orientation headings: Student mobility and international joint publications.

More than 1,200 colleges around the world participated, up from 850 a year ago in the first U-Multirank. The organisers say it helps give students and companies the full picture, as no single university is good at everything.

“Students want to find the university that’s best for them, according to their own preferences, and looking for the ‘number 1’ university in the world is misleading,” said Frank Ziegele, joint project leader.

Irish colleges do well collectively on some research measurements, with nine out of 11 getting an A or B for citation rates and five out of seven doing so for external research income. But only four out of 12 get an A on research publications, with six that include CIT, DIT, and Maynooth University getting a D for being below average.

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