(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Israel Institute of Technology-Technion is once again the nation’s highest ranking academic institution, the only one to crack the top 100 this year, according to the 2017 Shanghai Ranking released on Tuesday.
Falling behind was the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which came in at No. 101. This is the first time that the Hebrew University was not included in the top 100. Last year, the Haifa-based Technion was No. 69, while the Hebrew University ranked 87.
Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute of Science placed in the 101-150 group, while Tel Aviv University was in the 151-200 range.
Each year the Shanghai Ranking, or Academic Ranking of World Universities, evaluates some 1,200 universities and publishes the top 500. Topping the list this year was Harvard University, followed by Stanford University and the University of Cambridge.
According to the Academic Rankings of World Universities’ website: the results are based on six factors: the number of Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners from alumni; number of Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners from staff; number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Reuters; number of articles published in the Nature and Science journals; number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index; and per capita performance of a university.
This is the fifth year in a row that the Technion has been included in the top 100.
Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie attributes this to “the joint work of the Technion administration, its staff and faculty members. Members of our staff are the leading force in the Technion success in research and teaching, which is why we are investing enormous resources in recruiting and nurturing our staff.”
Concerned with its drop in rankings, the Hebrew University said, “According to the Shanghai Ranking data, Israeli research as a whole appears to be in a worrying decline compared with the strengthening of the universities from the East and especially from China. The Israeli government must invest even more in Israeli research, both because of increasing international competition for scientific status and because scientific research is the engine of economic growth for the country. Although research budgets have increased this year, looking forward this will not be enough, and we are now experiencing the consequences of the difficult years – the ‘lost decade’ – of higher education in Israel, consequences that are the direct result of the past cutbacks in government funding.”
Lavie agreed: “The decision-makers must understand that the State of Israel cannot remain a scientific and technological power without massive investment in research infrastructure.”