Trinity College has called on the Government to work closer with Irish universities, after slipping 44 places in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The university is now rated as 164th-best in the world in the list, falling 44 places from the 120th spot in the 2018 rankings, with Trinity the only Irish college remaining in the top 200 universities.

UCD and the Royal College of Surgeons both ranked between 201 and 250, with other Irish colleges ranking lower.

In a statement following the publication of the list, Trinity College called on the Government to develop a national strategy on rankings in an effort to reverse the slide in rankings that Irish universities have seen in the past ten years.

The college has said that the drop in rankings is “relative” to other countries’ investment in education, and that the latest decline is part of a continuing pattern that began in the years following the recession when funding was cut.

Commenting on the ranking, Professor Linda Doyle, Dean of Research at Trinity, said: “This is an undoubtedly disappointing result. Looking at the scores behind the rank, our performance is steady.

“However, this is not good enough in a world that sees many of our global competitors improve their scores through focused and sustained investment by their governments.

“There is no denying that continuing under-investment in university education and research in Ireland is catching up with us.

“A knowledge economy needs strong knowledge institutions. The only way up is through investment that prioritises excellence.

“Next month’s budget is perhaps the last opportunity to ensure that Ireland continues to have at least one university ranked in the top 200.”

She added: “Higher education rankings need to be made a national priority as other countries have done. We need to target funding where it can make a real impact.

“It is essential that we remain highly ranked to ensure that Ireland remains an attractive centre for global investment and a country renowned for the talent of its people.”