New EU university ranking system launched by Ireland

Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn has launched a new EU university ranking system as part of Ireland’s presidency of the EU.

U-Multirank will judge approximately 500 universities around the EU with the first results expected to be released in 2014.

New methods of ranking will be used as part of the scheme that includes six Irish universities – UCD, DIT, CIT, GMIT, IT Tallaght and IT Sligo.
Research is the main area focused on by other ranking systems but U-Multirank will instead focus on five separate areas: quality of teaching and learning, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer, reputation for research, and contribution to regional growth.

The new system will also judge third level institutions on their strength in business studies, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and physics.

The rankings will be compiled by an independent consortium led by the Centre for Higher Education (CHE) and the Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS).

When launching the scheme, Minister Quinn said: “Quality and equity are two of the key themes of the education dimension to Ireland’s Presidency of the EU and the new U-Multirank is an excellent example of this.”

Phil Prendergast, Labour MEP for Ireland South believes that the system will help to overcome some of the “prejudices and snobbery that were inherent in the old system, which disproportionately favoured historic universities as opposed to modern third-level institutes and universities.”

DCU has not signed up for the new scheme yet but any university can become involved at any time.

Ruaidhrí Croke

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