Dublin’s Trinity College was today ranked the 49th best university in the world after scoring top marks in an international survey.
The city centre institution – which was placed 13th among its European counterparts – was the only college in the country in the poll.
It is the first time an Irish third level facility has made it into the landmark top 50 in the Times Higher Education – QS World University Rankings.
TCD Provost Dr John Hegarty said it is critical for Ireland, especially in the current knowledge-driven age, to have more universities in the front rank.
“In 2003 we set ourselves a challenge to join the world’s top 50 grouping,” said Dr Hegarty.
“While it seemed a major challenge then, it is very satisfying that within a few short years we have achieved that goal.
“This success has been achieved in the context of a very competitive international environment against much better resourced world-leading universities.”
The rankings were compiled by quizzing more than 6,000 academics from around the world on the research quality of the university (40%) and 2,339 international employers who gave their opinion on graduate employability (10%).
The remainder of the marks were calculated on staff/student ratio (20%), research quality (20%), international faculty staff (5%) and international students (5%).
Trinity – the only Irish university in the top 100 – was commended across five discipline categories: arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, life sciences and biomedicine, engineering and IT.
Dr Hegarty said the university – which jumped up four places on last year’s ranking of 53 – was placed 43rd in the employer survey.
“This sends a clear message regarding the relevance of our education and training programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level to the global workplace,” continued Dr Hegarty.
“It is our hope and intention to maintain and further improve on that position.
“However, this is becoming increasingly difficult in a rapidly deteriorating funding climate.
“The fact that Trinity is ranked so highly relative to the resources available is a reflection of the very high calibre of our students, the excellence of our research and the strong culture amongst our academic, administrative and support staff to achieve and perform beyond the norm.
“The challenge will be to sustain our top ranking position and the quality for which we are renowned with increasingly deficient levels of funding.”