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New Rankings Reveal The Best University Course In Ireland

New Rankings Reveal The Best University Course In Ireland

It can be argued that an increased drive toward the 'professionalisation' of college courses has had a deleterious effects on the standards of those courses worse affected. Universities used to exist as independent bastions of thought, dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. They were places to hone the student's sense of mental acuity, and to cultivate a propensity for, and a love of, independent thought.

However, following the 1980s, when a greater emphasis began to be placed on educational outcomes, numerous college courses have begun to change under external pressure. The introduction of university rankings and the attempt to quantify educational outcomes using neologisms such as 'employability prospects' has led to many university courses being forced to become far more pragmatic than ideological. Previously esteemed aspects of education such as research and originality of thought get left by the wayside in certain courses, which are forced, by external factors, to become more akin to production lines, churning out highly employable graduates. The hope is that this will reflect well on the university.

However, there are some vestigial overhangs from the past way of doing things. A few course, antiquated relics, which have managed to not be weathered and reshaped by the tides of time and have preserved an old way of being. They are typically small, more isolated, courses which, it is clear for all to see given their subject matter, lie beyond any hope of having them streamlined to produce more employable graduates, as their very essence is so deeply, so grandly irrelevant. They exist, in near hermetically sealed, dusky and murky corners of their universities and, like some incredibly overbred dog, they sit quivering, forging some delicate existence, living in fear that they . Hidden away, catering to the select few students that still value their  particular area of expertise.

The Classics & Ancient History department of Trinity College Dublin is one such department. Speaking from tangential experience as a history graduate, nobody with anything even remotely akin to an earnest desire to find gainful employment following college would consider doing anything so foolhardy as a degree in history. And yet, the Classics & Ancient History department still manage to plough their furrow, focused on diligently pursuing higher minded pursuits than simply crafting students who can easily transfer into recruitment consultancy.

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As such, it should come as little surprise that - what with the purer focus they're able to maintain on academia without having to adhere to more prosaic constraints. In the QS University Rankings, the Classics & Ancient History department in Trinity has been named as the most highly ranked university department in Ireland, in its respective category. It was named 13th in the world in the 2019 rankings, matching its position from last year.

So, students of Classics & Ancient History, with the thought that - in spite of the fact your employment prospects may not be what you'd hope for, you are at the very least in the 13th best Classics & Ancient History department in the world.

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Rory McNab

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