National University of Ireland, Maynooth

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NUI Maynooth Tops Irish Rankings in World's Best New Universities

Times Higher Education new international

ranking highlights success of Ireland’s newer universities


31 May 2012 NUI Maynooth has today been recognised as one of the leading new universities in the world, ranked #64 in the the new Times Higher Education (THE) 100 Under 50 rankings. The university is also the highest placed Irish university in these rankings.

The ranking, which lists the world’s best 100 universities less than 50 years old, is published today for the first time, and aims to show which countries are challenging the US and UK as the next education powerhouses.  Universities are ranked according to a range of criteria including research income achieved, reputation for teaching, numbers of PhDs awarded, the number and quality of scholarly papers and citations from staff and numbers of international staff and students. 

The top-ranked new university is Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea, while institutions from Asia, Australia and the UK perform well.  The US is comparatively under-represented, the authors note, with only nine entries.

In relation to Ireland the authors say, “Ireland’s under-funded institutions are facing tough times right now, and the fact that the country’s older elite universities did not make the traditional Times Higher Education World University Rankings top 100 list last autumn was a cause of great concern”.

The guide then notes that this new list offers ‘some hope’. “The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, for example was founded just 15 years ago and is comfortably in the world top 100 among younger contemporaries.  This suggests considerable promise”.

Commenting on the rankings NUI Maynooth President Professor Philip Nolan said, “While rankings of this nature are subjective and built largely on opinion, it does show that the tremendous achievements of NUI Maynooth since its foundation have been internationally recognised. This is due to the scholarly reputations of our staff, the quality of our research, and our collective efforts to provide an outstanding education for our students. Ireland’s overall national reputation is far more important than university league tables but findings of this nature are to be welcomed if they can contribute to our tale of resilience and achievement in what is an extremely challenging time for the education sector”. He went on to congratulate Dublin City University:  “The strong showing by our colleagues in Dublin City University, with whom we work closely, augurs well for the growing collaborative ties between our institutions and for the health of Irish higher education more generally”

NUI Maynooth was established by as an autonomous university in 1997, arising from St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth which had been established in 1795.  It has grown considerably in recent years, doubling its student body to more than 8,000 students since 2004.  Postgraduate student numbers have increased by more than 50% in the same period to 1,800 and research income has tripled to €34 million.  Average CAO entrance points have risen considerably from 397 to 425 while it achieved it highest ever number of first preference applications in 2011.  It was named ‘University of the Year’ by the Sunday Times in 2008 and in 2011 NUI Maynooth also became the first Irish university to be listed in the US ‘Best Colleges’ publication by The Princeton Review.

Ends                                                                                                   31 May 2012

For more information please contact:

Deirdre Watters  NUI Maynooth Communications Office  +353 1 708 6735



Last edited: Tuesday, 05-Jun-2012 17:07:50 IST