Irish universities have climbed up the world rankings this year with both Trinity and University College Dublin in the top 100.

This is the first year that UCD has cracked the Top 100, up 19 places from 107 to 87, while Trinity moved up six places from 49 to 43.

UCD's new status is good news for president Dr Hugh Brady, who has been influential in guiding UCD's pro-business modernization.

In just four years, UCD has rocketed from 221st on the list to this year's ranking of 87.

There are now eight Irish colleges in the Times Higher Education/QS World University Rankings out of a worldwide survey of 2,000 colleges.

Trinity College Dublin: 43

University College Dublin: 89

University College Cork: 207

NUI Galway: 243

Dublin City University: 279

Dublin Institute of Technology: 326

NUI Maynooth and UL: 400-500

NUI Galway moved up 125 places from 368 to 243; DCU moved up 23 places from 302 to 279; Dublin Institute of Technology is up to 326.

The World University Rankings are based on a number of parameters including peer review by international academics, survey of international employers, the international nature of the teaching faculty and student body and metrics of achievement in research and scholarship.

Dr Brady said the ranking puts UCD in the top 5 per cent of universities worldwide.

"It is gratifying to be recognized for excellence by both international academic peers and employers alike. While one could find fault with any university ranking system, the reality is that rankings matter: they matter when top quality international students and staff are choosing a university, they matter increasingly to Irish students when deciding whether to study in Ireland or abroad, and they are cited as one of the top 10 reasons why multinational companies choose a particular region in which to invest.

"While no ranking system could possibly gauge the full impact of UCD on the making of modern Ireland, this international recognition is an affirmation of the excellence, hard work and dedication of staff, students and alumni of the university.

"We Irish have sometimes been too slow to acknowledge the quality and productivity of our universities, and too often it seems to take experts from afar to remind us of our true achievement and potential.”

The U.S. and Britain dominate the Top 10 with Harvard at Number 1. However, Cambridge in Britain has pulled ahead of Yale for the Number 2 spot.

World rankings

1: Harvard, US

2: University of Cambridge, UK

3: Yale University, US

4: UCL (University College London) UK

5: Oxford, UK

5: Imperial College London, UK

7: University of Chicago, US

8: Princeton University (US)

9: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US

10: California Institute of Technology (US)