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2015 Press Releases

UCC excels in global ranking

21 May 2015

UCC has this week been recognised as one of the leading universities worldwide for scientific research in the  CWTS Leiden Ranking 2015.

UCC has topped the ranking in Ireland, and now holds the 16th position in Europe and 52nd worldwide.

The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2015 ranked the 750 universities worldwide with the largest publication output in international scientific journals in the period 2010–2013.

UCC President, Dr Michael Murphy said:

“We welcome the growing sophistication of the ranking systems. The traditional commercially-driven versions that reward old-age, great wealth and capital city location are being challenged by non-commercially driven systems that offer more comprehensive independent analysis.  It is gratifying to see that the quality and performance of our academic and research staff at UCC is recognised." 

Looking at the top 1% publications in their field, MIT, Harvard University and Caltech score highest in the worldwide section with UCC coming 52nd.  In the Europe category, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine leads with Cambridge and Oxford Universities following and UCC coming in at 16th.  In Ireland, UCC leads the Irish universities followed by TCD, NUIG and UCD.

The good news for the University follows swiftly on the heels of outstanding performances by UCC in other key rankings:

  • In the recent U-Multirank rankings (March 2015), UCC was the top performing university internationally, based on obtaining the highest number of ‘A’ scores – 21 out of 28.
  • UCC’s performance in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (April 2015) has reinforced its position as a leading university internationally, with 13 subject areas featuring in the top tier globally and Pharmacy & Pharmacology listed within the top 50 worldwide.
    • UCC’s efforts in the area of sustainability resulted in the Universitas Indonesia (UI) Greenmetric World University Ranking awarding a second in the world ranking for the second year in a row (January 2015).
    • UCC was also named runner-up ‘University of the Year’ in The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015, with its performance in research income per academic leading the field.


UCC Research

UCC is one of the best-funded universities in Ireland, with investment in research reaching almost €84 million in 2013/2014.  A contributing factor to the University’s  success over the past three years has been its ability to attract major research funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). The SFI Research Centres' programme has an investment to date of over €540 million, the largest joint state/industry investment in Irish history.  Of the 12 Research Centres established since 2012, UCC leads four, co-leads one and is a partner in five of the remaining six SFI Research Centres. 

In 2013/2014, 30% of UCC’s research income was generated from non-exchequer sources, primarily the European Commission and industry.  Indeed, research funding from these sources have increased by 118% and 84%, respectively, over the last five year period.  UCC continues to build on historic successes in European Funding programmes and is very well placed to compete and win across the broad suite of Horizon 2020 programmes. 

Professor Anita Maguire, Vice President for Research and Innovation says: 

UCC continues to support our leading researchers across the different disciplines.  The University has a unique combination of excellent researchers, an internationally competitive research infrastructure, and extensive industrial partnerships that  provide the bedrock for our success.   We have also the agility to respond rapidly to emerging areas of national and international strategic priority.”

The upsurge in research funding has increased  the number of peer-reviewed publications authored by UCC researchers and  the number of citations to these publications - a standard measure of research impact.  UCC researchers now collaborate with over 700 of the world’s top universities across 120 countries. 



About the CWTS Leiden Ranking system

The ranking system focuses on the quality of academic publications and uses a sophisticated set of bibliometric indicators to provide statistics on the scientific impact of universities and on universities’ involvement in scientific collaboration. The CWTS Leiden Ranking does not rely on highly subjective data obtained from reputational surveys or on data provided by universities themselves. Universities do not have any say in their selection as it is based on data from the Web of Science database. 

The Leiden Ranking analyses publications that belong to the top 1% , 10% or top 50% of their field. The performance of the Universities can be examined worldwide and by region and country. 

The scientific journals include journals from the areas of:

  • Biomedical and health sciences
  • Life and earth sciences
  • Mathematics and computer science
  • Physical sciences and engineering
  • Social sciences and humanities

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