The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and the Weizmann Institute of Science were ranked in the top 100 universities in Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s authoritative 2012 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).
The Hebrew University achieved the highest rank – 53rd, with the Technion in 78th place, and the Weizmann Institute coming in at 93rd. Significantly, this is the first time that more than one Israeli university made the top 100.
The ARWU has conducted the rankings since 2003, and is regarded as one of the most influential international university rankings. Over 1200 universities are considered and the top 500 are ranked.
Topping the list was Harvard University, which has done so in each of the ten years that the rankings have been conducted. Altogether, seventeen US universities made the top twenty; the UK’s Cambridge University(#5) and Oxford University (#10), as well as Japan’s University of Tokyo (#20) also made it into the top twenty.
Hebrew University jumped four spaces since last years rankings, and has improved considerably since the first ranking in 2003, when it was ranked 94th. The Technion and Weizmann Institute experienced a significant jump in their rankings, with both breaking the top 100 for the first time; in 2011, both ranked in the 101-150 bracket in 2011. Ranked according to specific fields, the Israeli universities fared even better: the Weizmann Insitute ranked twelfth in computer sciences, the Hebrew University ranked sixteenth in Mathematics, and the Technion ranked 29th in chemistry.
Altogether, six Israeli universities made it onto the list: Tel Aviv University ranked in top 101-150, while Ben Gurion University and Bar Ilan University ranked in the 301-400 bracket.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, commenting Wednesday on the publication of the rankings, said: “This ranking proves that our Government’s unprecedented investment in Israeli academia has led to results. We are investing NIS 7 billion in universities, in a multi-year plan, in centers of excellence, in bringing Israeli minds back home, and our efforts are bearing fruit.
“I am especially happy over the high ranking of Israeli institutions in computer science – with four Israeli universities among the 30 leading institutions in the world,” he continued. “This is another sign that Israel is continuing to establish itself as a global high-tech power. My Government will continue to invest in education – from pre-school to higher education.”