Fewer students in Israel are satisfied with the quality of teaching at higher
education institutions, according to a survey release by the National Union of
Israeli Students as the new academic year began on Sunday.
conducted as part of the NUIS annual students report, examines Israeli students’
level of satisfaction with the quality of teaching at their academic institution
according to factors including: The quality of courses, the quality of
lecturers’ teaching, the quality of teaching assistants’ instruction, teacher’s
attitudes towards students, grading system, the overall study program and the
overall satisfaction with the institution.
For each element, the 9,268
respondents were asked to grade their contentment on a scale from one to five,
one being “not satisfied at all” and five being “very satisfied.”
the factors found to have a high average score are the teachers’ attitudes
toward students, with a 3.9 average score and a 71 percent high satisfaction;
the quality of courses, with a 3.7 average score and a 63% high satisfaction;
and the overall satisfaction level with the academic institution, which was
graded at an average of 3.7, with 62% of the respondents reporting high
In contrast, the overall study track, the grading system
and the quality of lecturer’s teaching were graded among the least satisfactory
Although the figures show only a small decrease from the 2012
survey – a 3.67 average in comparison to last year’s 3.62 – students do not
appear to have experienced any improvement in the fields surveyed.
10 years, we’ve seen a deterioration of the higher education system,” NUIS
chairman Ori Reshtick told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “Its budget has
decreased, there are less and less lecturers, and less and less attention paid
to the quality of teaching.
“We here a lot of talk about the Nobel Prize
winners, but they are a result of the academic system from 20 or 30 years ago,”
For almost all of the elements, the highest scores were
recorded in private colleges, followed by colleges of education and public
colleges. The report showed that universities were, on average, only ranked
fourth in the different categories.
In fifth place are colleges of
In terms of the quality of courses, for example, the highest
satisfaction level was recorded at the IDC Herzliya, while the lowest was
observed at the Sha’arei Mishpat College in Hod Hasharon. For quality of
lecturers’ teaching, the Netanya Academic College won the highest score while
the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology was ranked at the bottom of the
scale. As far as the grading system goes, students are most satisfied at the
Weizmann Institute of Science, while the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was
given the lowest score.
Reshtick said that higher education institutions
in Israel should take the data seriously and see it as a “warning
“We see a lot of lecturers today who don’t know how to teach,” he
added. “They teach because they were asked to, because it’s part of their
jobs. We need to have more teaching development workshops for
“In the case of the Technion, it is a really good school and a
really good research center, but they probably consider the research more
important than the quality of teaching,” Reshtick told the Post.
the quality of Israeli academia, the NUIS report also revealed that students are
continuing to struggle with the increasing cost of living.
More than half
of respondents said they receive financial assistance from their parents during
their studies, 41% of whom said they receive up to NIS 9,000 a year, 18% said
they get between NIS 9,000 and NIS 12,000 a year, and 41% reported receiving
over NIS 12,000 a year.
The average annual financial aid students receive
from their parents stands at NIS 15,280, an increase of NIS 925 from last
Some 39% of students also said that they live with their parents or
relatives, which saves them additional expenses.
In addition, the
majority of respondents, 78%, said they work during their studies, 64% of whom
do so during the academic year and 14% during vacations only. Only 22% of them
do not work at all.
In terms of average monthly salary during their
studies, 48% of students responded that they earn between NIS 1,000 and NIS
3,000 a month, 20% said that they earn up to NIS 1,000, 19% between NIS 3,000
and NIS 5,000 and 13% more than NIS 5,000.
The average monthly wage for a
student during the school year stands at NIS 2,872, NIS 358 lower than it was
Finally, the report also revealed an 8% increase in the number
of students on scholarships this year.
Reshtick, addressing the findings,
said that “the data indicate that the cost of living of Israeli students is
worsening year by year, unfortunately without a proper solution found by the
“Every year, at the opening of the academic year, are all
concerned about it,” he said. “But soon after, everyone returns to their typical
winter dormancy, and the student population continues to deal with the high cost
“Students expect the government to understand that the coming
year is crucial, not only in terms of handling the issue of Iran, but also in
dealing with issues of survival of the Israeli middle class and students in
particular,” Reshtick continued.
Some 308,335 students started the
2013-2014 academic year on Sunday in 66 higher education institutions across the
country. These include seven research universities, the Open University, 37
academic colleges, and 21 colleges of education, according to data provided by
the Education Ministry.
At the weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu congratulated the students and explained that under his
previous government, he had dedicated NIS 7 billion toward a multi-year plan to
strengthen higher education.
“According to all opinions and according to
all those authorized elements that deal with the matter, including the heads of
our universities and colleges, this flow and the way in which it is being
implemented have led to a turning point in higher education,” he stated, “I say
this because it might be forgotten.”
Netanyahu added that he had made
this investment “out of the recognition that education in general, including the
treetops, not just the roots and the trunk, but the treetops of higher
education” which “ensure our future, our qualitative advantage and of course our
Such investments, he said, will help foster more Nobel
“Anyone who thinks otherwise will be proved
wrong. There is great genius, which sprouts and flowers here.... I meet
these budding geniuses, as the defense minister and many others among you
certainly do, in a series of elite IDF units, including intelligence and
others,” he added, “They have contributed, and will contribute, greatly to the
State of Israel.”
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.
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