Three Israeli universities are among the 200 world leading academic institutions according to Times Higher Education’s (THE) 2012-2013 ranking released on Thursday.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was ranked 137, dropping from last year’s 121st place. Tel Aviv University, however, reached number 158, an improvement from its 2011-2012 ranking at 166th; and the Technion- Israel Institute of Technology, which did not rank last year, entered the list at No. 193.

THE’s rankings, published in the UK, consider 13 different performance indicators which are categorized into five groups: teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook.

Amos Levav, the Technion’s spokesman, said while the university appreciates entering the echelon, it prefers to be measured in terms of science and technology-related factors.

“Since the Technion is first and foremost a science institute, we pay closer attention to Shanghai University’s [Academic Rankings of World Universities] that takes in consideration factors like science, research, and academic performance,” he said. In Shanghai’s Academic Ranking of World Universities, the Technion comes 78th in the top 500, occupying the 18th place in computer science and 29th in chemistry.

“The Hebrew University is proud to be a leading research institution in Israel, as established in the QS ranking for 2012,” Tamar Rabinowitz, spokeswoman for The Hebrew University, told The Jerusalem Post in a written statement. She addressed the descent in the rankings by emphasizing: “This year the university is ranked among the top 100 according to what we consider the most important index, [the Academic Rankings of World Universities] which examines the number of citations our faculty received, which suggests their international recognition.”

The THE list’s top 10 is composed of seven American institutions including MIT, Princeton and UC Berkeley as well as three British ones: Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College in London.

California Institute of Technology maintained last year’s first place. Harvard traded spots with Oxford University and was ranked fourth instead of second as it was last year. Stanford and Oxford are tied for second place.

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