‘Must try harder’, Minister Quinn, says Mullen

Ronan Mullen challenges Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to up-the-ante on Irish university rankings
Commenting on the recently-published Times Higher Education world university rankings and the fact that Irish universities do not feature in the top 100 places to study, Senator Ronan Mullen said:
“While I would question the methodology of this report in some respects, the findings are disappointing nevertheless  We know we have produced some of the finest graduates in the world and that we have excellent academic and support staff within our universities.  However, the fact that no Irish university has made the top 100 spot is troubling and we should be most concerned that it will, if not corrected, impact on the international reputation of Irish graduates.
He continued:
“Minister Quinn seems intent on making sweeping changes to elements of the second-level education system, for whatever reason.  But what plan does he have to put in place structures to enhance Ireland’s third-level education system on an international scale?  Or is he happy to simply ignore this pressing issue?”
Senator Mullen suggested that a comprehensive five-year plan be put in place involving all of the stakeholders including academic and student liaison staff, representatives of the business community and Department of Education representatives.  He said:
“This representative body should put a detailed five-year plan in place with the sole aim of improving the standing of Irish universities internationally.  If this issue is not dealt with there is little doubt that it will impact on the marketability of Ireland as a destination for international corporations who are seeking well-qualified graduates – ultimately impacting on jobs and the economy.  Minister Quinn must act now,” he concluded.