An aerial picture of the UL campus
Tuesday, 14 May 2024

University of Limerick has been ranked among the world’s top 75 young universities, according to a new global survey.

Times Higher Education (THE) has ranked UL in 72nd place among the world’s young universities in the latest rankings, an improvement on the 2023 rankings which saw UL in the 151-200 bracket.

The result marks the biggest year-on-year improvement of the eligible universities in Ireland in the annual THE World University rankings.

In a separate report by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), UL has also been ranked in the Top 4.5 per cent of universities worldwide, following an assessment of almost 21,000 institutions.

Welcoming the news, UL Provost and Deputy President Professor Shane Kilcommins said: “UL is passionate about teaching and research with impact. Our move to the top 75 in the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2024 and being in the top 4.5% of universities worldwide in the recent Center for World University Rankings survey is testament to this passion and confirms our commitment to excellence and growing our reputation as a world-renowned centre of knowledge.

“These rankings reflect our focus on research, the student learning environment, and doctoral education. We encourage a resilient and innovative learning environment based on a foundation of strong academic disciplines, led by a highly motivated and supportive, diverse and inclusive community of academics and researchers. 

“We want to make a difference in the world and for our students and researchers to be socially engaged citizens and change makers for tomorrow,” Professor Kilcommins added.

UL Vice President Research Professor Norelee Kennedy said: “Excellence and innovation in research and teaching are key to ensuring that UL continues to have a positive impact both on our students and society. These latest rankings show that the world-class teaching and the ground-breaking fundamental research being carried out across the university are paying dividends.

“Our Wisdom for Action research strategy outlines our priorities to develop UL as a research-intensive university and these latest rankings are testament to our commitment to achieve them.”

The latest result adds to a marked improvement in a number of recent global rankings in with UL jumping more than 100 places to be ranked 426th in the QS World University Rankings, while Times Higher Education ranked UL as the 86th best university in the world for delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and UL moved into the 401-500 bracket out of the 1,904 universities ranked globally overall in its THE World University Rankings for 2024.

UL also climbed to 175 in the world for the QS World University Rankings: Sustainability 2024.

Academic rankings are seen as a vital resource for students and academics in helping them choose where to study and work.

Times Higher Education evaluated universities across five key areas or pillars of Teaching, Research Environment, Research Quality, International Outlook and Industry.

These rankings apply the same methodology as the overall World University Rankings to assess research-intensive universities across their core missions of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. However, the weightings are recalibrated to reflect the profile of missions of young universities.

The rankings included significant updates with the introduction of a wider range of bibliometric measures, improving international metrics, and expanding the role for knowledge transfer, which better reflects the excellent and wide-ranging work that is being carried out across UL.

The performance indicators are grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); Research Environment (volume, income and reputation); Research Quality (citation impact, research strength, research excellence and research influence); International Outlook (staff, students and research); and Industry (income and patents).

The most significant improvements for UL were seen in Research Quality, Industry, Research Environment and Teaching.

The methodology for the CWUR rankings differs from other rankings in that it is the only academic ranking of global universities that assesses the quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, and research performance without relying on surveys and university data submissions.

CWUR uses seven objective and robust indicators grouped into four areas to rank the world’s universities:

1) Education: based on the academic success of a university’s alumni, relative to the university's size.

2) Employability: based on the professional success of a university’s alumni, measured relative to the university's size.

3) Faculty: measured by the number of faculty members who have received top academic distinctions

4) Research:

i) Research Output: measured by the total number of research papers

ii) High-Quality Publications: measured by the number of research papers appearing in top-tier journals

iii) Influence: measured by the number of research papers appearing in highly influential journals

iv) Citations: measured by the number of highly cited research papers

The full rankings are available on the Times Higher and CMUR websites.