The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the only Israeli university to be ranked in a new survey as one of the world's 100 leading universities. The ranking appears in a new listing published by the international news magazine, Newsweek.
The Newsweek list is dominated by the most prestigious universities in the U.S., Europe and the Far East. (Its top three rankings, in order, are Harvard, Stanford and Yale universities.) Still, the Hebrew University appearing in 82nd place, finished ahead of some of America's and Europe's largest and oldest universities. It was also the only university in the Middle East to be chosen in the world's top 100.
In a separate ranking published this year by Shanghai Jiaotong University of China, the Hebrew University was rated in 6oth place among the world's top 500 universities. This represents a significant rise from the Hebrew University's ranking in 78th place in last year's Shanghai listing. Other Israeli universities listed by Shanghai and their rankings were: the Technion, 115; Tel Aviv University, 116; the Weizmann Institute, 151; Bar-Ilan University, 303; Ben-Gurion University, 304; and the University of Haifa, 467. Tops on the Chinese list, in order, were Harvard, Cambridge and Stanford universities.
In presenting its "top 100" list, Newsweek wrote that "in response to the same forces that have propelled the world economy toward global integration, universities have also become more self-consciously global: seeking students from around the world who represent the entire spectrum of cultures and values, sending their own students abroad to prepare them for global careers, offering courses of study that address the challenges of an interconnected world and collaborative research programs to advance science for the benefit of all humanity."
Its ranking system, said Newsweek, took into account "openness and diversity, as well as distinction in research."
Hebrew University President Prof. Menachem Magidor said that while the university was obviously honored to be chosen so prominently among the world's top universities, there still remains a danger for the future of the university and for all higher education in Israel as long as the cuts in government budgeting for the nation's universities in recent years are not restored.
"It is obvious that one cannot keep cutting funds for teaching and research and still expect that the standards which we have labored so hard to set for ourselves -- and which have earned us a place among the world's leading institutions of higher learning -- will continue to be maintained, let alone advanced," said Prof. Magidor.
"Human resources are our greatest asset, and it is a pity that the government, though its shortsighted fiscal policies regarding education, is gambling away the future of these valuable resources," he said. "If we lose our best and brightest young people, to seek advanced study and research opportunities elsewhere, what future lies ahead for this country?"
In its rankings, Newsweek magazine used some of the criteria from the evaluations used by Shanghai Jiaotong University and by the Times of London Higher Education Survey in their independent rankings.
Newsweek based 50 percent of its score on equal parts of three criteria used by Shanghai Jiaotong: the number of highly-cited researchers in various academic fields, the number of articles published in Nature and Science magazines, and the number of articles listed in the ISI Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities indices. (ISI is a firm providing information and the tools required to access, analyze and manage research information.)
Another 40 percent of the score came from equal parts of four criteria used by the Times of London survey: the percentage of international faculty, the percentage of international students, citations per faculty member and the ratio of faculty to students.
The final ten percent of the Newsweek ranking was based on the number of volumes in the universities' libraries.
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