Israel's universities get lower grades in Time's global survey
Three of Israel's universities made Time magazine's top 200 list last year. This year it only two made it, and just barely.
By Yisrael Fischer, Yarden Skop and Lior Dattel
Published 19:00 03.10.13
While both the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv's University found themselves included in Time magazine's annual list of the top 200 universities worldwide, they were ranked at a significantly lower place this year. The Technion, which appeared in last year's list, failed to make the cut.
The Hebrew University, which was ranked 134th last year, was positioned 191th in this year's list. Its overall score was lowered to 45, from last year's 53.1. The Tel Aviv University barely made the list, being placed at 199th with an overall score of 44.3; last year it was ranked 158th, with a mark of 50.5.
Topping the list - for the third year running - is the California Institute of Technology. Harvard climbed to number two this year, followed by Oxford, Stanford, and MIT. Princeton, UC Berkely, the University of Chicago, and the Imperial College London round out the top ten.
Time ranks the academic institutions throughout the world by scoring them in certain categories. Teaching and learning environment make up 30% of the final score, amount of research and its prevalence also accounts for 30%, research citation also makes up 30%, while innovation and international outlook make up 2.5% and 7.5%, respectively.
Tel Aviv University's score suffered primarily because of its teaching, although it received a good score for research. The Hebrew University also received a good score for citations, but its marks for innovation and overall research suffered.
The Hebrew University ranked 86 for humanities, however. Stanford and Harvard were the top two for this category. No Israeli school made it into the top 100 in the health category, which was led by Oxford.
Haifa's Technion was ranked 69th in terms of technology and engineering, while MIT took the top spot. No Israeli universities made the top 100 list for life sciences or physics, which were led by Harvard and Caltech.
The ranking reflects a decline in Israeli scientific achievement. A recent study revealed a drastic decline in the amount of Israeli research per capita over the last decade. In 1991, Israel was first in the world in terms of publishing studies, and was in the top three until 2003, but by 2009 had fallen to tenth place. According to figures from 2011 (the most recent available), Israel currently sits in thirteenth place.
The study, conducted by the Samuel Neaman Institute and the national council for study and development within the Science, Technology, and Space Ministry, also revealed a decline in the quality of publications, as Israel is currently ranked fifteenth in the world, down from twelfth just six years ago.
In response to the Time rankings, the Hebrew University stated that "Israeli research universities are suffering from a lack of advanced equipment and infrastructure necessary for research in the sciences, which harms their rankings. In the field of humanities, which does not require special equipment, the Hebrew University was ranked among the top 100 universities in the world.
At the same time, Hebrew University has maintained its excellence, which is reflected in the Shanghai rankings, considered the most prestigious and objective, which place it among the top 60 universities in the world."
It is important to note that on the Shanghai rankings as well, Hebrew University slipped six places from last year.
Among the top 20 universities on the list, 15 are located in the United States, 3 in Britain, 1 in Switzerland, and 1 in Canada. The U.S. led the list with 77 of the top 200, which is one more than last year's list. Britain was represented on the list 31 times, Holland had 12 universities on the list, and Germany came in with 10, a drop from last year.
Asian universities did not feature largely on Time's list; Japan was represented five times, South Korea four, Hong Kong thrice, China and Singapore twice. Taiwan had one institution on the list.