NUIG is runner-up to UCD in new university ratingsOctober 9, 2012 - 7:00am
By Dermot Keys
NUI Galway solidified its reputation as one of the country’s top universities when it was named as the runner-up in the Sunday Times University of the Year 2013, less than a month after it climbed 11 places in the QS World Rankings.
The university was runner-up to UCD in the new guide and it scored strongly for its high rate of graduate employment, low dropout rates, and its impressive research programme. There was also praise for its academic initiatives, which included offering academic credit for work experience or volunteering.
The Sunday Times Guide 2013 revealed that NUI Galway has one of the lowest dropout rates among Irish universities, with 93.7% of graduates going on to jobs or further education.
NUI Galway claimed fifth place in the Sunday Times University League Table for the second consecutive year and it was praised for offering “one of the best academic and social packages” in the country.
The runner-up award was not just based on the league table. It also factored in the institution’s national and international standing and the overall student experience.
President of NUI Galway, Jim Browne, said the latest accolade recognises the university’s ongoing progress despite substantial cuts to third-level funding.
“This is all very good news for NUI Galway as it confirms that our position nationally and internationally is on the rise and that we are succeeding in our efforts to achieve recognition in selected priority areas,” President Browne said.
"The University offers our students world-class teaching and encourages active engagement with the learning experience through opportunities such as volunteering, work placement, international exchange programmes, sports clubs and vibrant student societies.
Our focus on student engagement contributes to our leading retention rate among universities and strong employment figures for our graduates.”
In contrast to NUI Galway’s high graduate employment rate, the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) was named as the second worst institution for jobs. Graduate employment actually improved from last year’s 22.5% to 15% but only Letterkenny IT had a lower rate in the latest findings. A new pilot module for fourth year students has been introduced to address this issue.
GMIT dropped five places to 17th in the 2013 league table but it was praised for its low dropout rate (17%), student-staff interaction, and consistent academic performance.