Half of new senior lecturers, profs are returning ex-pats

“Facing a world with great possibilities, we produce tremendous talent.”

June 1, 2017 23:12
2 minute read.
Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA)


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More than half of the senior lecturers and professors hired by Israeli universities in the past six years are Israelis who returned from living and working abroad. Half of the senior academics in the country are between the ages of 30 and 40, and one-third of them are women, it was reported at a meeting of the Knesset Science and Technology Committee this week.

Zionist Union MK Manuel Trajtenberg, an economist who was asked by Science and Technology Committee chairman MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) to lead a number of sessions on the subject, said: “Israel’s main resource is the fertile mind of Israelis in science and technology, and it can be found in large amounts disproportionate the size of the state and its economic situation. The governments of Israel have not always done what was needed to preserve and promote this resource.

“In the last decade, the ranks of the senior faculty members in the universities emptied out, unlike the situation in the world where the ranks grew. This resource is not in your pocket; you have to work every day for it to take place.”

As a result of the decline in university staffers, Israelis from abroad have returned to fill many of the jobs.

“Facing a world with great possibilities, we produce tremendous talent,” Trajtenberg said. “If we do not work all the time, it may run away from us.

From now on, we should not talk about a brain drain but of a flow, a circulation of brains.

“This flow must be managed in an informed manner in favor of the State of Israel… This is a classic situation that can lead to complacency and complacency. This issue requires attention all the time and in all contexts, we are small in front of a large world with great possibilities.”

Maklev said: “This is a matter that is above political affiliation. It is forbidden to rely on past achievements. This is not an issue of political affiliation but one at the heart of our existence. If we want to continue to lead in the fields of advanced science and technology, we must continue to push forward. As a result, I asked MK Trajtenberg to conduct a number of meetings on the matter to ensure that everything was done in a serious and professional manner.”

MK Oded Forer of Yisrael Beytenu said: “The concept of start-up and success here is great, but scientists are the core of this success. There is a need for a comprehensive plan, and I want to make a proposal for an order on the matter."

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