Israeli Academia Slides in Latest Global Survey

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Students at Hebrew University.Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash90

Israel's premier academic institutions all slid down the scale of the leading universities of the world in a prestigious global survey published Friday.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was the highest ranking Israeli institution, coming in at 70th place in the annual Academic Ranking of World Universities, a survey conducted by researchers at the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanhai Jiao Tong University in China. However, last year Hebrew University placed 59th.

All of Israel's universities slid down the scale, while Haifa University crashed out altogether. The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology slipped a notch from 77th to 78th. The Weizmann Institute of Science was knocked down from 92nd to the 101-150 range. Tel Aviv University dropped from the 101-150 range to the 151-200 range. Bar-Ilan and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev both fell from the 301-400 range to the 401-500 range.

The Academic Ranking of World Universities uses six objective indicators to rank world universities. They include "the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Reuters, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance of a university," according to its website.

Eight of the top 10 universities are located in the United States: Harvard, Stanford, MIT, University of California-Berkeley, Princeton, California Institute of Technology, Columbia and University of Chicago. Britain accounts for the other two: fifth-place University of Cambridge and Oxford, which is tied for ninth with Chicago.

American institutions also take the 11-18 spots: Yale, UCLA, Cornell, UC San Diego, Washington, Penn, Johns Hopkins and UC San Francisco. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich is the only non-English speaking school in the top 20 and 19th place, while University College London rounds out the top 20.

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