Three Israeli universities slipped in a global ranking of the world’s top 500 universities, though a fourth, Beersheba’s Ben Gurion University, rose dramatically in the list.
The QS World University Rankings study measures academic citations per faculty as “a measure of research impact.” It is “designed to provide students with comparable, accurate data to make informed decisions about their educational future,” according to a statement from QS World University Rankings, which also said that 11.1 million research papers, indexed by the Scopus/Elsevier bibliometric database, were analyzed for the 2015 rankings.
Hebrew University in Jerusalem, ranked Israel’s best, was 148th on the list, 10 lower than last year. Israel’s premier technical institute, Haifa’s Technion, came in at 198, while Tel Aviv University was placed 203rd. Both showings are eight slots lower than in 2014.
The net decline of 26 slots, however, was offset by a steep jump of 33 slots on the part of Beersheba’s Ben Gurion University, from 292 last year to 259 in the latest ranking.
More good news: Israel’s overall showing on the broader list of top-flight universities — that is, the QS rankings beyond the top 500 — rose from six institutions to seven. The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot joined the list for the first time.
The top echelons of the list were dominated by US and British universities. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology led the list, followed by Harvard, Cambridge, Stanford and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
The QS study also ranked universities by reputation, asking over 75,000 academics for their opinion of each university’s academic prestige. Three Israeli universities were in the top 250 “most reputable” institutions: Hebrew University at 154, Tel Aviv University at 190 and the Technion at 202.
When parsed into individual university faculties, Israel’s top-ranked faculty globally is Hebrew University’s Faculty of the Humanities, ranked 128th among the world’s arts and humanities faculties.