University of Limerick has achieved the highest possible standard in the new QS Stars Rating System, the only university in Ireland to achieve this in 2021.
UL joins an exclusive group of universities worldwide to receive the overall five-star status in the ranking, which is considered one of the most influential and credible ratings for universities globally.
The QS Stars Rating System was launched in 2009 to assess higher education institutions more broadly than rankings alone and five stars is the maximum score that can be achieved. It is compiled by education analysts Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the world’s leading provider of services, analytics, and insight to the global higher education sector.
The five-star rating is valid until March 2024 and follows a rigorous and independent data collection process and analysis of performance metrics by QS.
The evaluation process at UL lasted five months and focused on the collection of dozens of indicators including institutional data and surveys results, employer engagement, focused analysis of research output, teaching and internationalisation.
QS Star ratings are entirely based upon an institution’s performance, rather than how they compare to peer universities.
In addition to the overall rating, UL also earned the highest five-star rating in several other areas: Teaching, Employability, Research, Internationalization, Facilities, Innovation, and Inclusiveness.
Professor Nigel Healey, UL’s Interim Provost and Deputy President/Vice President Global and Community Engagement, welcomed the recognition.
“This rating places UL globally in the top 2% of all universities. The advantage of the QS rating system over a global ranking is that it signals to potential staff and students, as well as to future partners, the areas in which UL excels,” Professor Healey explained.
“We have always been well known for our strengths in internationalisation, innovation, inclusion and employability, as well as the quality of our learning and teaching, and it is reassuring to know that these are externally assessed as world-leading with a five-star rating. But as we approach our 50th anniversary in 2022, these new ratings let the world know that we now also have research and facilities that are world-class,” he added.
The overall five-star rating reflects UL’s commitment to being an independent, internationally focused University. UL is young, energetic, and enterprising with a proud record of innovation in education and excellence in research and teaching. The rating reflects the University’s mission to build on the expertise of its scholars in creating, harnessing and imparting knowledge for the benefit of our students and the enrichment of the community.
Five-stars in Internationalisation demonstrates the diversity of UL’s staff and students. The rating has been awarded based on international research collaborations, international mobility programme, a dedicated international student support centre as well as the proportion of international faculty and students at UL.
Five-stars in Employability is testament to UL’s outstanding reputation and excellent relationships with employers both domestically and internationally. UL graduates continue to enjoy exceptional employment prospects with a graduate employment rate of over 96%. The University’s Cooperative Education programme is one of the largest in Europe.
Each year over 2,000 students across 56 degree programmes undertake a six-to eight-month placement as part of their undergraduate degree programme, one fifth of which are with international companies.
UL is recognised as possessing one of the most spectacular and environmentally sympathetic third-level campuses in the world, and this has been reflected in the QS five-star Facilities rating. The campus has unrivalled sports and cultural facilities including Ireland’s first Olympic-size swimming pool, an indoor sports arena, a boathouse with a state-of-the-art indoor rowing tank, the 1,100-seat University Concert Hall, the Irish Chamber Orchestra Building and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.