THE majority of Irish universities, including the University of Limerick, have seen a decline in the QS World University Rankings 2014/15, published this week.
UL dropped 20 places from last year’s ranking, from 503rd place to 523rd,.
Other Irish third level institutions that saw a decline were Trinity College Dublin in 71st place (10 places), University College Cork in 230th place (20 places), Dublin City University in 366th place (17 places) and Dublin Institute of Technology in 558th place (22 places).
University College Dublin retained its position of 139th place, while NUI Galway rose by four places to 280th place.
QS head of research Ben Sowter said that funding cuts to third level education have had an impact on the ranking of Irish institutions.
A spokesperson for the Higher Education Authority (HEA) commented: “Out of 15,000 plus higher education institutions, it is important to note that Irish universities still feature in the top five per cent in the world. While rankings are subjective and don’t measure the full contribution of the university to society and to the economy, we cannot ignore them.
“Universities with greater sources of both public and private investment can obviously develop their research and teaching capacities further and hence their reputation and their perceived global ranking.”
UL’s highest ranking in the survey in recent years was in 2007 when it reached 394th place.