Universities rankings are a hazardous undertaking. Too many moving metrics, too many subjective inputs, too many egos fighting each other and too many euros and dollars and rupees and pounds etc at stake from funding sources. So one really should take them with a grain of salt and in comparatives look at a number of rankings across the board.
So here's a set of simple facts:
- By ARWU methodology, there are no Irish Universities in top 100 world wide: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2015/08/15815-irish-universities-none-in-top.html;
- By Times Higher Education methodology, there are no Irish Universities in top 100 world wide: http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/2015/11/51115-times-higher-education-rankings.html
- By US News & World Report (NWR) methodology, there are no Irish Universities in top 100 world wide: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/search?region=&country=ireland&subject=&name= and see chart below;
- By QS rankings methodology there is only one Irish university in top 100 world wide http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2015#sorting=rank+region=140+country=+faculty=+stars=false+search= (see second snapshot below)
- By Wikipedia rankings, there is only one Irish university in top 100: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/carousels/wikipedia-ranking-world-universities-top-100 (see third snapshot below)
US NWR rankings:
Note: although QS and Wikipedia rankings for Trinity are relatively close, two methodologies are quite different. In terms of perceived robustness, ARWU and THE, are seen as top quality rankings, with QS and USNWR methodologies being usually seen as 'intermediate' quality and Wikipedia rankings being, err... a bit off-the-wall.
Still, net effect is: 3/5 global universities rankings give Ireland zero places in top 100. No matter how you spin this, it ain't great...