ben gurion university building 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The rain that swept into the country on Friday wasn’t the only sign that the
summer is officially over; 293,000 students will return to 66 institutions of
higher education when the 5771/72 academic year opens on Sunday.
number is 3.4 percent higher than last year. Of those 293,000 students, 228,740
will be studying for their bachelor’s degree, 52,460 for their master’s, and
10,600 for a doctorate.
This year will see a significant rise in the
number of those studying for their first degree at an academic college as
opposed to a university.
An estimated 88,540 students will study in
colleges, up 6.2% from last year’s 83,355.
The number of those studying
in teachers’ institutes will rise to 22,000, up 9.5% from 5770/71, when 20,100
studied in such institutions.
In the early ’90s, 85% of tertiary students
studied in universities and only 6.4% in colleges. Today, 42% are enrolled in
universities and 46.7% in colleges.
Some 23% of students will are
enrolled in social sciences tracks, and 18.7% are studying engineering or
architecture. Only 1.5% will be studying physical sciences, and 0.5%
Throughout Monday, the National Student Union will maintain
a situation room to field inquiries from students across the country, at (03)
Also on Monday, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Manuel
Trachtenberg, head of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for
Higher Education, will unveil a multi-year plan for higher education reform, to
be implemented beginning this academic year.
Sa’ar has said the plan
“will encourage excellence in research and teaching, and the strengthening of
higher education in the social and geographic periphery of Israel.”
plan includes the opening of four centers for research excellence, which will
delve into computer science, alternative energy, molecular biology and
One of the research centers’ roles will be to encourage Israeli
academics who have left the country to return to be leaders in their
According to the Education Ministry, more than 80 researchers
have signed on to work at the four institutes.
They are currently working
at a number of world-class institutions, including Harvard, the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Princeton, the University of California at Berkeley and
New York University.
Sa’ar has called the campaign to reverse the
braindrain “a national priority that will strengthen Israeli
The program calls for the establishment of an additional 30
research centers over the next five years, at an investment of some NIS 1.5
The new plan will also call for budget increases to raise the
number of students studying in higher education in the periphery and to
encourage access to higher education for minorities and the religious sector.
Proponents of the plan expect it to double the number of Haredim pursuing a
higher education, and increase by 25% the number of Arab students.
year, Arabs will make up 11% of tertiary students, as opposed to 7% last school
year. The increase is credited to improved access to education in the peripheral
areas where many Arabs live.