Hebrew University
Hebrew UniversityHebrew University

The Times Higher Education (THE) published on Monday the top 200 universities in Asia, with six Israeli institutions appearing in the top half of the ranking this year.

Two Israeli universities made the top 20 list – Hebrew University of Jerusalem tied at 17th with Korea University, and Tel Aviv University ranked 20th.

Technion Israel Institute of Technology ranked in 36th place, followed by Bar-Ilan University at 67th, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev at 79th and the University of Haifa at 87th.

Singapore achieved unprecedented success by taking the top two places, with The National University of Singapore in the top spot and Nanyang Technological University in joint second place with the highest-ranked Chinese institution, Peking University.

“It is great news that six Israeli institutions make our ranking of the best universities in Asia, and that two of these make the elite top 20,” said Phil Baty, ranking editor for THE.

“This marks a significant improvement to last year’s ranking, in which Israel claimed only four places in the top 100. Israel is one of the stand-out university nations outside the dominant East Asian region.”

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 49% of 25-64 year olds in Israel have attained higher education degrees, surpassing the OECD’s average of 34%.

“Israel is one of the stand-out university nations outside the dominant East Asian region,” said Baty. “However, the annual spending per student is much lower than the average of OECD countries.”

Baty suggested that recent boycotts of Israeli universities from academics is a cause of concern. “This ranking is full of dynamic rising stars from nations that are seriously investing in higher education. Israel must ensure it doesn’t get left behind.”