By Aidan Delaney
Trinity College Dublin (TCD) have been accused of breaking university ranking regulations following the publication of an email allegedly sent by the college.
The email was allegedly sent to former students and staff of the college, asking them to complete the surveys that would be sent to them from university ranking organisations Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and Times Higher Education.
The email also contains a link to the surveys and encourages the recipient to respond to the survey as every supply will lead to a donation to charity.
TCD are currently the highest ranked Irish college in both the QS and Times Higher Education rankings. However, they have seen a drop in rankings from 138th in 2015 to 160th in the latest Times Higher Education rankings.
A statement from the QS organisation called the actions of Trinity College “misguided and naive” and say that they contravene guidelines aimed at protecting the accuracy of their university rankings.
The university released a counter statement of it’s own saying that the emails were sent in good faith and they never wished to influence the decision of the recipient’s. TCD also said that they had contacted the Times Higher Education organisation and they had no concerns about the email.
The fact Trinity College tried to influence their world ranking is kind of sad and looks very bad for the college https://t.co/rGfO9i2N8o
— Ryan Reid (@RyReid92) March 22, 2016
In the statement, the university said: “At all times, we respect the integrity of the rankings agencies in their collation of data in informing the annual global rankings.”
In 2013, University College Cork (UCC) were found asking their staff to sign up to the surveys to help improve the college’s standing in the university rankings.
University president Michael B Murphy sent an email to his colleagues encouraging them to vote as “the position of UCC in the world university ranking schemes could seriously impact the external perception that funding agencies, government and other partner institutions have of UCC.”