Trinity College builds on its four-hundred-year-old tradition of scholarship to confirm its position as one of the great universities of the world, providing a liberal environment where independence of thought is highly valued and where staff and students are nurtured as individuals and are encouraged to achieve their full potential.
The College is committed to excellence in both research and teaching, to the enhancement of the learning experience of each of its students and to an inclusive College community with equality of access for all. The College will continue to disseminate its knowledge and expertise to the benefit of the City of Dublin, the country and the international community.
Trinity College Dublin, formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", and is the only constituent college of the University of Dublin. Located in Dublin, Ireland, it is Ireland's oldest university.
Originally established outside the city walls of Dublin in the buildings of the dissolved Augustinian monastery of All Hallows, Trinity was set up in part to consolidate the rule of the Tudor monarchy in Ireland, and it was seen as the university of the Protestant Ascendancy for much of its history; although Roman Catholics had been permitted to enter as early as 1753, certain restrictions on their membership of the college remained until 1873, and the Catholic Church in Ireland forbade its adherents from attending until the late 20th century. Women were first admitted to the college as full members in 1904.
Trinity is now surrounded by Dublin and is located on College Green, opposite the former Irish Houses of Parliament. The college proper occupies 190,000 m2 (47 acres), with many of its buildings ranged around large quadrangles (known as 'squares') and two playing fields.
Academically, Trinity is divided into three faculties comprising 24 schools, offering degree and diploma courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is consistently ranked as the best university in Ireland, and as the 43rd best worldwide in the 2009 THE - QS World University Rankings (known from 2010 onwards as the QS World University Rankings). The Library of Trinity College is a legal deposit library for Ireland and the United Kingdom, containing over 4.5 million printed volumes and significant quantities of manuscripts (including the Book of Kells), maps and music.
Trinity retains a strong collegiate and "campus" atmosphere despite its location in the centre of a capital city (and despite its being one of the most significant tourist attractions in Dublin). This is in large part due to the compact design of the campus, whose main buildings look inwards, and the existence of only a few public entrances.