University rankings – Real reasons to be concerned

International university rankings are deeply-flawed measures of third-level colleges produced by commercial organisations, but there’s no escaping the fact that they are highly influential indicators which guide foreign investment and flows of international students, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.

That’s why the latest set of QS university rankings have sparked alarm within Irish higher education. Irish universities have tumbled downwards, with Trinity College Dublin losing its status as the country’s only top-100 university. Senior academics say government-imposed caps on staffing, growing student numbers and a decade of under-investment have taken their toll.

In the meantime, Irish universities are being left in the slipstream of those in rival jurisdictions such as China which are benefitting from massive investment. It is tempting on one level to dismiss this as an issue of little real concern to Irish students. They are, after all, getting jobs and Irish graduates are well-regarded internationally. But there are real reasons to be concerned.
Full report on The Irish Times site