Athlone IT has retained its position as Ireland’s top-ranked institute of technology in The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, the official league table benchmarking the country’s 19 higher education institutions.
This is the second consecutive year that the progressive third level institute has finished top of its class, having previously won The Sunday Times Institute of Technology of the Year in 2020. The third-level institute also held the prestigious title in 2018 and was afforded runner-up status in 2017.
Finishing in seventh place, ahead of all other institutes of technology, AIT has outpaced this year’s winner, WIT, by eight points, the institute’s inclusive campus culture and student-centred ethos being among the reasons for its success.
Student experience scores play a critical role in influencing The Sunday Times rankings for third-level institutes. Introduced into the adjudication criteria in 2018, student experience has the heaviest weighting, giving students direct input into where their college ranks.
AIT has continually elicited the highest participation rates of any third-level provider in StudentSurvey.ie, a national survey which considers the holistic student experience, since the survey’s inception seven years ago; its students repeatedly report the highest levels of satisfaction with their third-level experience nationally.
“I am delighted that AIT has once again topped the national higher education rankings and in so doing, further demonstrated that it is a leader in the delivery of technological higher education. I have no doubt that our exceptional performance in this year’s league table will stand us in good stead as we look ahead to making our debut as Ireland’s newest technological university in future rankings,” AIT President Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin commented, as he welcomed the news.
“The most radical shake up of higher education in a generation,” Alastair McCall, editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, noted, when referencing the imminent advent of Technological Universities (TU ).
He added that he expects the new TU for Ireland’s Midlands and Mid-West, formed from AIT and LIT, to vie for the top spot among universities in future guides.
The new TU, which will span six campuses across four counties, is on track to open its doors in September 2021.
Now in its 19th year, The Sunday Times Good University Guide provides the definitive rankings for Irish universities and institutes and is the most comprehensive overview of higher education in the country.