Most parents want the best for their children. They want to prepare them with as best they can for their own silly dalliance with life on this planet of ours. Integral to this is the idea of giving your child the best education possible. Well, unfortunately for them, this is Ireland and we are quite a long way off being the best at anything; so they must be content with accepting that if they would like their children to take an Arts & Humanities degree, then UCD has apparently been ranked their best bet in Ireland.
That's right those bastions of order and ordering over at the QS World University Rankings, are absolutely nailing their entire raison d'etre and have released a list of the universities of the world, ranked by their proficiency in the Arts & Humanities. UCD is the highest ranked Irish college on 2017's list, coming in at a surprising 83 overall. Now, I am not one to cast shade on the methodology of the fine people of QS, they seem a solid bunch of rankers with plenty of experience in the field of ranking, but it seems a surprisingly low rating for a college in a country which has a strong reputation for the arts. Trinity College Dublin is the next Irish university on the list, coming in at 173.
The rankings were determined by a number of factors including the international academic reputation of each university in question, coupled with the number of citations they receive in international academic journals and papers.
Now, while this all seems very good and like a thorough means of ascertaining the academic proficiency of each college, let's not beat around the bush, it sounds like a staggeringly dull way of doing things. I lobby that a much more enjoyable way of collating these rankings would be for a representative of each institution, say their most acclaimed academic, to come together once a year in a large field, don't ask me why, but I'm imagining in Belgium? Once they're gathered there, two words; Mud. Wrestle. This is very much my default choice for conflict resolution and the settling of any disputes and is one of the many reasons I was turned away from my dream job as a hostage negotiator.
I have emailed the people of QS with my suggestions however I have yet to hear back from them.