Minister Ruairí Quinn and Commissioner Androulla Vassiliouhave launched a new university ranking system entitled U-Multirank.

U-Multirank will measure the performance and excellence of HEIs across a variety of dimensions. Five areas are measured: reputation for research, quality of teaching and learning, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer (such as partnerships with business and start-ups), and contribution to regional growth.

The next phase of U-Multirank is being launched at a conference in Dublin Castle under the Irish Presidency of the EU. Some 500 universities are expected to sign up to take part, with the first rankings results expected in early 2014.

As well as providing an authoritative ranking comparing institutions, U-Multirank will also rate universities in four specific subject areas: business studies, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and physics. The list of specific disciplines will be gradually expanded in future years.