Trinity has arrested a series of drops in the QS World University Rankings, climbing from 108th to 101st after two years of slides.
The rankings, released by QS today, will come as a big boost to a College that has become increasingly concerned with its falling position in the rankings in recent years. But Trinity, Ireland’s highest-ranked university, still remains outside the top 100.
The rankings are compiled based on six factors – international faculty, international students, academic reputation, citations per faculty, employer reputation and faculty-to-student ratio.
Trinity first fell outside the top 100 in 2018, after placing 88th the year before.
In a press statement, Dean of Research Prof Linda Doyle said Trinity is pleased with an improved ranking, which she says comes “despite an increasingly challenging landscape”.
But Doyle warned that “it cannot be over-stressed that significant and sustained improvements can only be achieved if we see long-term increases in investment”.
Five of Ireland’s seven universities saw their position improve in this year’s rankings.
For years, Trinity has wrestled with falls in world rankings. In January, details of its strategic plan – revealed by The University Times – showed that combatting its decline was a priority for Trinity.
Now, many of its plans – including a €29 million hiring drive to reduce its staff–student ratio – look uncertain amid widespread financial fears for the College.
This newspaper reported last week that Trinity risks running out of cash by September 2021 if strict cutbacks are not implemented in the coming months.
A confidential report – presented at College Board and seen by The University Times – showed that in the worst-case scenario, the impact of the coronavirus could see Trinity’s unrestricted cash plummet into the red by the summer of 2021.
Last week, in response to a plea from the Higher Education Authority for a “significant government intervention in the form of a financial support package”, the government warned that it could not cover financial losses faced by third-level colleges due to the pandemic.
In April, writing in the Irish Times, Prendergast said that the coronavirus is likely to “almost wipe out” the income universities make from international student fees.