Jerusalem's Hebrew University in top 50 of Wikipedia Ranking of World Universities

The researchers analyzed 24 different language editions of Wikipedia, containing about 4 million articles.

January 4, 2016 18:11
1 minute read.
The Hebrew University

The Hebrew University. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has ranked 47th place worldwide and first place in Israel in the Wikipedia Ranking of World Universities, it announced on Monday.

The new technology-based ranking of the world's most influential universities, which was initially released in December, is based on a computerized analysis of the number of times that institutions of higher education are mentioned in Wikipedia.

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Universities in the UK led the rankings, with Cambridge and Oxford taking first and second place, followed by American universities Harvard, Columbia and Princeton. Outside the US and the UK, Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany was the highest-ranked, in 11th place, followed by Uppsala University in Sweden, in 15th place.

Other Israeli institutions on the list included the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (108), Tel Aviv University (168), Weizmann Institute of Science (183), Bar-Ilan University (201), Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (221), University of Haifa (211), Ariel University (321), and Holon Institute of Technology (670).

The new ranking applies algorithms that Google uses to rank websites in search engine results against the number of references to universities in the 24 different language editions of Wikipedia.

Universities were ranked by their PageRank score (descending order), then by number of appearances in the 24 Wikipedia editions (descending order), and then by the century they were founded (ascending order).

Created by Jose Lages and Antoine Patt at Université de Franche-Comte and Dima L. Shepelyansky at Université de Toulouse, the ranking methodology is intended to avoid cultural, historical or geographical biases that the researchers believe can affect traditional ranking systems.

The researchers analyzed 24 different language editions of Wikipedia, containing about 4 million articles in English, 1.5 million in German, and around 1 million in each of Dutch, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish, along with several other languages.

“Ranking approaches are based on human selection rules which cannot be complete or can favor certain cultural choices and preferences. Thus it is useful to have an independent mathematical statistical method which would rank universities independently of any human rules,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

“The Wikipedia ranking provides the firm mathematical statistical evaluation of world universities which can be viewed as a new independent ranking complementary to already existing approaches. We hope that our method will also find a broad usage together with other rankings,” they wrote.

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