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Posted: 14 November 2007

UCD in Times Higher top 200

The recent Times Higher Education Supplement listed UCD in position 177 (up from 219 in 2006).  This increase of 42 places reflects a number of factors – including some changes in the methodology used by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds – the company commissioned who gather the data from THES).

2007 rank
2006 rank
Peer review
Employer review

Staff / student score

Citations / staff score

Intl staff score
Intl student score
Overall score





The first measure - peer review – seeks the opinions of over 5,000 academics worldwide and is given the highest weighting (40%) in terms of overall score.   They are asked to list up to 30 universities whom they regard as leaders in their academic field and this year the selected academics where not permitted to vote for their own institution.  The second measure surveys 1,471 major global and national employers and asks them to rank the universities they like to hire from.  This has a weighting of 10%. 

In the quantitative categories, this year THES introduced a Z-score in order to reduce relative distortion caused by exceptional scores.  Consequently, the universities’ scores reflect how far they are from the average.

Commenting on the balance of citations per staff and students per staff, Dr Hugh Brady, President of UCD, reflected that the equal weighting given to both (20%) means that universities who accept fewer students are effectively rewarded. This is “something completely at odds with Irish Government policy over the past decade” he said.

The impressive improvement in citations per staff also reflects the broadening of the measure by THES who count published papers over 5 years as indexed by Scopus ( rather than Thomson Scientific.  According to Martin Ince of THES, Scopus has a broader base – especially outside the US and is a better measure of research excellence globally.

The international ratios of staff and of students have a weighting of 5% and show that while University College Dublin is seen as attractive to academics from outside Ireland there is plenty of capacity to increase our attractiveness to overseas students.

Dr Brady went on to praise staff whose work has resulted in UCD’s improved ranking. “This ranking is an impressive trajectory and marks an encouraging moment for Irish higher education when two Irish universities are in the top 200.

“Rankings are not the main driver of a 21st century university’s activities but they are becoming an increasingly more important part of the world in which we all live and work,” he added.

There are now four Irish universities in the top 300 of the THES rankings, with Trinity College Dublin ranked at 53, UCD at 177, UCC at 286, and DCU at 300. The University of Limerick and Dublin Institute of Technology are ranked within the top 500.

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