Decline in University rankings “inevitable” as research funding lost due to Brexit – Hayes
Majority of EU funded research in Irish universities is jointly funded with a UK institution
Fine Gael MEP, Brian Hayes, has today (Tuesday) said that the recent fall in the global rankings of Irish universities is set to continue if the research community fails to collectively address the impact of Brexit on research funding. The MEP for Dublin, which contains five of the State’s nine ranked institutions, was speaking ahead of the publication tomorrow night (Wednesday) of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
“We’ve already seen every university in Ireland, bar NUIG, fall down the table in the recent QS rankings. Tomorrow’s Times Higher Education World University Ranking is regarded as the most influential and is totally focused on ‘research-intense universities’. The omens are not good and we face the real possibility of having no university in the top 200. If our universities fall outside the elite top 200, our reputation as a global innovation and research centre would take a hammer blow.”
“The assessments of all the global ranking bodies are focused on the research capabilities of universities. Britain’s withdrawal from the EU will dramatically affect our ‘fourth level’ research sector. Nearly all our EU funded research projects are joint initiatives with UK universities.
“Until there is a coordinated national approach to tackling the impact of Brexit on our research funding it is inevitable that our rankings will fall further. A good ranking for Irish universities is essential to attract grants, donations and the best and brightest researchers.
“I’m calling for a national ‘fourth level’ forum to set out a clear message to the ranking bodies and the world about our research potential.
“We cannot expect ranking bodies to have faith in Irish research unless we set out how the loss of funding when UK universities leave the EU will be accounted for. Given the lead in times associated with preparing research grant applications we need urgent action,” concluded MEP Hayes