IUA Chief Executive Ned Costello welcomed the improvements in the standing of Irish Universities in the Times Higher rankings. “OECD data shows that Irish higher education produces above average performance with a below average level of resources”, he said. These latest rankings from the Times Higher are clear evidence that our universities are continuing to innovate and outperform. Despite the very difficult resourcing environment, the drive by universities to improve and compete on the world stage is undiminished. The Strategic Innovation Fund has been a key enabler of change and improvement especially in areas like teaching and learning and student feedback. The improvements in the rankings also demonstrate the fact that the State’s investment in research is having a real impact. This is reflected not just in the Times Higher Rankings but in key indices of scientific impact and commercialisation.
There is a grave danger, however, Costello said that this performance will not be maintained if current threats to the system are realised. Core resources are already being cut and funding for innovation is under threat. “The latest rankings show that investment in the universities is money well spent. However, we cannot be complacent”, Costello warned. “The growing performance of Asian universities at the top of the rankings shows just how the worldwide competition for talent in the global knowledge economy is hotting up”, he said. “Knowledge and talent are the keys to growth: we have to invest to compete. Failure to do so will prolong the recession and stunt future growth”, he concluded.
For further information contact: Lia O’Sullivan, Communications Manager, Irish Universities Association. Telephone: 01 6764948, 085 7141414. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org