Western Galilee College.
(photo credit: WWW.WGALIL.AC.IL)
The past two decades have seen a sharp increase in the number of undergraduate applicants to academic colleges and a drop in undergraduate applicants to universities, according to a Central Bureau of Statistics report released on Wednesday.
The researchers sought to analyze data on the applicants for undergraduate degree studies at academic colleges in comparison to their counterparts seeking admission to the universities.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the “Academic Colleges Law,” an amendment to the Council for Higher Education Law, which for the first time allowed approved colleges to award recognized academic degrees.
During the 1995/96 academic year, some 13,500 students studied in academic colleges. That number has steadily grown so that in 2012/13 some 105,900 students were pursuing degrees in academic colleges.
Between the years 2009/10 and 2012/13, there was a decrease in the number of undergraduate applications to universities, from 33,500 to 29,700 applicants, while the number of undergraduate applications to academic colleges during these same years increased from 38,900 to 45,500.
Overall, “statistics regarding students for undergraduate degrees from the past few years show that, in general, higher education in Israel has expanded,” the report stated In the academic year 2013/14, there were 31,400 undergraduate applicants to universities and 39,200 undergraduate applicants to academic colleges.
Of the applicants to universities, 72.5 percent were accepted to their first choice, while 71.2% of applicants to academic colleges had the same success.
More than two-thirds of applicants to academic colleges, some 68.8%, preferred to study one of four fields: Business and management administration (19.5%), social sciences (18.9%), engineering and architecture (15.9%) or law (14.5%).
With regards to gender and ethnicity, the report found that the majority of applicants to academic colleges, some 54.6%, were women, while 12.3% of applicants were Arab.
Among women, the most sought after fields of study were social sciences, art, paramedical professions, and especially education and teacher training.
The preferred fields of study for men being engineering and architecture, math and computer sciences. Among Arabs, the preferred field by far was paramedical studies.
Some 9.1% of applicants to academic colleges were born in the former Soviet Union, with the preferred fields for this population group being engineering and architecture as well as business and management.
Only 1.6% of applicants to academic colleges were of Ethiopian origin, with the preferred fields being business and management administration as well as social sciences.