Over 300,000 students kick off new academic year at Israel's colleges, universities

The number of students enrolled this year went up 1% from the last academic year.

October 26, 2014 15:35
2 minute read.
Tel Aviv University campus

Tel Aviv University campus. (photo credit: PR)


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Some 310,000 students are studying at 65 institutions of higher education this academic school; most classes began on Sunday.

The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya kicked off its academic year on October 19. The academic college, which received the third highest rating among higher education institutions by students in the NUIS survey, saw 6,500 new students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees, of whom 1,500 were from more than 80 other countries.

The Raphael Recanati International School at the IDC had a strong increase in enrollment, attributed to rising anti-Semitism on college campuses abroad. The school reported a 10% increase in students from the United States and a 20% increase in students from Francophone countries such as France, Belgium and Switzerland.

A total of 238,420 are enrolled in bachelor’s programs, 59,455 are pursing master’s degrees, and 10,860 are in doctoral programs, according to the Council for Higher Education. This marks a 1 percent increase from the previous academic year, when there were 307,020 students in colleges and universities.

Sixty-six percent of this year’s undergraduate students are studying at academic colleges as opposed to universities, the CHE reported. Students at academic colleges were more satisfied than their counterparts at universities, according to the National Union of Israeli Students’ 2014 Student Survey released on Friday.

Tel Aviv University announced that some 30,000 students would be studying at the institution this year, including 5,000 freshmen, marking a 2% increase in enrollment from a year ago.

This most sought after fields of study included computer sciences, life sciences, electrical engineering, psychology, economics and law – similar to the nationwide date revealed by the Council for Higher Education report.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba announced that some 20,000 students would begin studies on Sunday and reported a 4.5% increase in the number of undergraduates.

“After a summer in which many programs were disrupted because of the war in the south and after most of the missed classes and examinations have been made up, we are looking forward to starting the new school year on the right foot,” BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi said.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa also began the school year last Sunday, with 2,185 new students beginning studies.

Prof. Peretz Lavi, president of the Technion, took the opening of the academic year as an opportunity to warn against further reductions to the higher education budget. “Continued cuts in higher education mean a real threat to Israel’s future strength,” he said.

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