NUI Galway wants to become one of the world’s top 200 universities by 2020.
Breaking into the top 200 was part of the Vision 2020, a strategic plan for the next 5 years released by the college last week.
The college currently sits at 261st in the latest Times Higher Education 2014 World University Ranking. The only Irish college to make the top 200 is Trinity College Dublin who rank in 138th position.
NUI Galway believes that due to a highly competitive global market in certain jobs, increasing its ranking will give it a better standing among internationally renowned businesses.
The president of the university, Jim Browne has said that the rankings are important to international employers and having a high ranking can help students get work abroad.
“The rankings are not a vanity issue, they impact on students” he said.
Speaking to The College View, NUIG Student Union president, Declan Higgins said that the SU were happy with the “ambitious nature” of the Vision 2020 plan. However, he believes that while the rankings are important, the care and support students receive is also essential to getting ahead.
“It’s in all our interests to have our university recognised on the world stage, however, there’s a lot that the rankings don’t capture. A high level of supports for students – now that’s a ranking to be very proud of.”
In its Vision 2020 plan, the college does not expect to have a large increase in the number of undergraduates attending. NUIG currently has 17,300 students completing undergraduate courses but the strategic plan expects that that number will increase by just 1,000 by 2020.
Also included in the Vision 2020 plan, is its intention to increase its post-grad to represent 30 per cent of the student body. The university is planning to do this by focusing resources on high quality research development. In addition, the college is looking to secure funding of around 100 million euro from the EU in the next 5 years.