THE LIMERICK Institute of Technology has dropped down four places in the Sunday Times university guide for 2012, while the University of Limerick has fallen one place.
While University College Cork (UCC) was named their university of the year, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is still topping the overall rankings.
ULâ€™s place on the list has fallen from sixth to seventh, with an unemployment rate of 11 per cent and a drop-out rate of 18 per cent.
Its research income is â‚¬41.3m - half that of TCD and UCC, who each have research incomes of over â‚¬80m.
However, UL has been lauded for its excellent sporting facilities and is the only Irish university to receive a phenomenal five stars - the maximum available - for its sports facilities, â€œmany at world-class standardâ€, according to the authors.
While UL is placed seventh on the list of universities - followed only by ITs - its research income is the sixth highest in the country, standing at â‚¬80,949 per academic.
It also had the sixth highest average degree entry points, at 396 points.
Interestingly, UL studentsâ€™ union president Derek Dally tells the guide that the â€œdeal clincherâ€ for students is that the university is â€œclose enough to Limerick to head in if you want to but self-contained enough that you would never need toâ€.
Meanwhile, LIT has fallen to number 18th on the list - just three places from the bottom.
Its research income is significantly less than UL, standing at â‚¬5.5m. It has an unemployment rate of 21 per cent, a drop-out rate of 24 per cent, with 49 per cent of students receiving first class honours degrees and 2:1s. It received three stars for its sporting facilities.