Just the Facts: Studious Jerusalem

The Jerusalem Municipality is investing significant resources in its effort to brand the city as a national center of higher education.

Jerusalemite Students graph 250 (photo credit: JTIS)
Jerusalemite Students graph 250
(photo credit: JTIS)
The Jerusalem Municipality is investing significant resources in its effort to brand the city as a national center of higher education and to attract students from every part of the country. Jerusalem already boasts a large concentration of higher education institutions of every stripe – academic, rabbinic and tertiary.
Jerusalem’s centrality in the field is evident from the large percentage of students enrolled in its institutions of higher learning; a percentage that greatly exceeds that found in other Israeli cities.
In 2009, some 76,000 Jerusalemites over the age of 20 were enrolled in the city’s educational institutions. As a percentage, this contingent accounted for 17 percent of its age group in Jerusalem as compared with 11% in Tel Aviv and in Haifa and a national average of 10%. Jerusalem also houses many rabbinic academies for men known as yeshivot gedolot.
The presence of these institutions also serves to explain the disproportionate male-to-female ratio in Jerusalem’s adult higher education: 63% to 37%, respectively. In other major cities, the male-to-female ratio is almost balanced: 49% to 51% in Tel Aviv, and 47% to 53% in Haifa and in Israel as a whole.
Institutions of higher learning in Jerusalem fall mainly into three categories: institutions that award academic degrees; institutions that award tertiary certification; and rabbinical yeshivot gedolot.
In 2009, some 49% of adult students in Jerusalem were studying toward an academic degree. Their number was 37,000, and 56% of them were female. Another 25,000 students, which accounted for 33% of Jerusalem’s adult student population, studied in yeshivot gedolot. Another 6,000 students, the equivalent of 8% of Jerusalem’s adult student population of which 63% were female, were enrolled in other tertiary certification programs.
Of the adult student population, the percentage enrolled in academic institutions was lower in Jerusalem than in the country as a whole: 49% compared with 63%. The proportion of students enrolled in tertiary certification programs was also relatively low: 8% compared with 13% nationwide. On the other hand, the proportion of students enrolled at rabbinic male seminaries was conspicuously higher, with 33% compared with 13%.