After a process that lasted more than five years, the merger of the two institutions is underway, as part of a broad move by the Ministry of Education and the Council for Higher Education to merge education colleges in Israel. This change, one of the first of its kind, is expected to significantly upgrade the status of academic staff at both institutions. According to the agreement, both campuses will continue to operate.
Until now, teacher colleges in Israel were budgeted by the Ministry of Education, similar to schools. The merger between the two educational institutions will enable the transfer of colleges of education to the budgetary responsibility of the Planning and Budgeting Committee (Vatat), instead of the Ministry of Education, allowing similar conditions to what universities and state-owned colleges in Israel receive.
The rationale behind this transition is to strengthen these colleges academic, administrative and financial aspects advancing the professorship status, thus increasing the revenues available for teacher training as well as additional resources to adapt teacher training to the current era.
The decision to merge Lewinsky College with Wingate Academic College ensures its future as a leading teacher education and training college. It is a union of bodies with different areas of specialization, which complement each other and allow faculty members at both colleges to continue to teach their currently taught classes and to develop new study and training tracks.
According to the agreements between the two bodies, Prof. Michal Beller will serve as the first president of the Levinsky-Wingate Academic Center, and Prof. Rony Lidor will serve as vice president.
Chairman of the Levinsky Wingate Academic Center, Oved Yechezkel: "The merger of the colleges and their transformation into a leading academic center for teacher training in Israel is in the forefront of the education and higher education system in the country. "With diverse, rich teacher training, based on shared knowledge and looking forward to the future, I am confident that soon the higher education system will feel the added value of the union, and wish success to the first president of the United College, Prof. Michal Beller."
Prof. Michal Beller, President of Levinsky-Wingate Academic Center:"As President of the Levinsky-Wingate Academic Center I will work for the merger of Levinsky College of Education and Wingate Academic College to reach the strengths of both colleges. Both Colleges have exceptional academic achievements and a rich history of training many generations of educators, teachers and kindergarteners. In the new Levinsky-Wingate Academic Center diversity, innovation and educational entrepreneurship will enrich the education system with a top-notch teaching faculty who will educate the future generation of the State of Israel.
Prof. Rony Lidor, Vice-President of Levinsky-Wingate Academic Center: "The merger between the two colleges expresses to me the idea of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The Levinsky-Wingate Academic Center will allow academic staff to develop in new directions and frameworks not previously available. "In addition, the center will offer new interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary curricula that until now each college individually could not offer."