There is no basis for making an argument that Ireland does not have a high standard of education. The question should rather be: “Where does Ireland rank in education?” A comparison with Universities of other countries remains the best way to learn if there are areas improve on and those in which the nation is doing well. Here is a look at the top ranking countries in education.
Recent rankings reveal that Irish Universities are 19th on the log out of the 50 countries they were compared against. The country has held this position for three straight years now – 2016 to 2018. The difference in this ranking is that it does not focus on individual universities; rather, an assessment is made based on the broader systems of each country.
With an average of 64.8%, the country cannot be said to be doing badly. The United States seats comfortably on top of the pile and remain the benchmark for other countries. The higher education systems of each nation are compared using four main factors:
- Resources: This is one area where Ireland went one step backwards. They dropped from 25th from 2017 under this category to 30th in 2018. Switzerland blazed the trail in this category and Ireland needs to learn a thing or two from them to stand any chance of ranking better in future. What this means is that the Irish government needs to invest more in the higher education system to match its national wealth. Fundings like this will go a long way to improve research and development.
- System Strength: This is a combination of all the scores garnered by Irish Universities that are ranked 700 and above. This is a collective effort to help make comparisons with other countries. So, it is not just a case of having a single university rank high in the country while the others suffer.
- Access: Universities ranked within the top 500 globally are considered under this category. The number of places available is divided by the square root of the population. Some more work needs to be done here as well.
- Flagship Institution: This takes into account the performance of a country’s highest ranked institution. The assumption is that it reflects how others should perform.
There is some more work to be done if Ireland is hoping to rank higher in future. The recent rankings mark a fall in global ranking and there is an urgent need to buck this trend. With a little more effort it can be achieved.