Students have ruled: The Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Kibbutzim College and the Weizmann Institute of Science are the top three higher education institutions in Israel.

As part of the “2012 Student Survey” released this week by the National Union of Israeli Students, students were asked to rank their universities and colleges according to their satisfaction level with seven different aspects: quality of courses; teaching faculty; teaching assistants; relationships between students and lecturers; grading method; quality of the curriculum and overall satisfaction.

They were asked to rank their institutions on a five point scale ranging from one being “very unsatisfied” and five meaning “very satisfied”.

Two private colleges were ranked first: IDC Herzliya lead the ranking with an average score of 4.23 points followed by Kibbutzim College with an average of 4.09 points.

The Weizmann institute arrived third with 3.92 points, making it the leading University according to the 5118 students surveyed.

Inbal Chen, spokeswoman at IDC Herzliya wrote to The Jerusalem Post: “We are pleased and proud to be in first place of the student satisfaction survey.

The IDC’s approach has always been, from it’s founding, to look at the students as partners for whom the institution was built.”

“Our faculty and students feel they have an academic, social and national mission to create the leadership of the future. Their contribution brings us much pride,” she added. Itai Elitzur, graduate of the school says he is not surprised at the IDC’s performance: “The IDC is a school that understands that without the students it has no purpose. The whole institution is built around student’s well-being.

They obviously have an understanding that the student is the customer and not just a statistic.”

He also added that the college has adopted much of the American education style from the graduation ceremony to the sweatshirts bearing the logo of the IDC.

At the bottom of the list are Bar Ilan University, followed by the Technion with 3.50 points.

The ORT Braude college of Engineering was ranked very last of the 32 higher education institutions reviewed with a score of 3.41 points.

Amos Lehav, the Technion’s spokesman explained that his institution present very difficult academic requirements for student but that at the end of their studies, students see the results of their efforts: “It is nevertheless very important for us to make the student’s experience as smooth as possible and I think that our support system for them is one of the best in the country. I think the fact that our drop-out rate is close to zero also says something.”

“It sucks a little to hear that we’re at the bottom,” said a new student at Bar Ilan University, who is undergoing orientation this week. “On the other hand, it doesn’t mean so much because students who ranked their schools have no point of comparison. I think we will really be able to tell how satisfied we are only after we finish studying and see what our diplomas get us in the real world.”

The 2012 student satisfaction ranking was the first one mixing private colleges, universities and public colleges together in the ranking.

In the previous years, the three categories had been separated.

IDC Herzliya had also been ranked first in the past two years in the private college category.

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