Israeli Universities Dip in World Academic Ranking

Haifa's Technion was Israel's only institution in the Top 100 as Jerusalem's Hebrew University falls from grace

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The Technion campus in Haifa.
The Technion campus in Haifa. Credit: Dror Artzi
Yarden Zur

Israeli universities declined this year in the annual international ranking of the 100 top universities in the world. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, released Tuesday, the Technion in Haifa and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem both went down. The Technion dropped by 24 places to number 93 and is now the only Israeli institution in the top 100. Hebrew University, which had placed 87, is now down to a place between 101 and 150, as is the Weizmann Institute of Science.

According to the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, which prepares the list, Tel Aviv University falls between 151 and 200 and Bar-Ilan University and Ben-Gurion University placed between 401 and 500. The University of Haifa was not included on the list.

Technion President Peretz Lavie said he was pleased that the institution had been ranked among the 100 leading universities in the world for five years now. However, he added that the decline in the standing of Israeli universities on the list should be a warning sign to higher education policy makers. “Decision makers must understand that Israel cannot remain a scientific and technological power without massive investment in research infrastructure,” he said.

The Academic Ranking of World Universities is published by Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University and is considered one of the most reliable regularly published rankings of academic institutions. The ranking takes into consideration mainly the quality of research at the various institutions. It is based on a number of indicators, such as the number of faculty members and graduates who have won a Nobel Prize or a Fields Medal for math, and the number of times articles by faculty members have appeared in leading scientific journals. There were no major changes in the 2017 ranking; this year, too, it includes mainly U.S. universities and two British schools. Heading the list is Harvard, followed by Stanford, Cambridge, MIT, University of California at Berkeley, Princeton, Oxford, Columbia, Caltech and University of Chicago.