Israel's Higher Education
Education in Israel is a life-long process.
Bar Ilan University (est. 1955, Ramat Gan) embodies a unique integrative approach which combines enrichment programs in Jewish heritage with a liberal education, in a wide range of disciplines, particularly in the social sciences. Blending tradition with modern technologies, it houses research institutes in physics, medicinal chemistry, mathematics, economics, strategic studies, developmental psychology, musicology, Bible, Talmud, Jewish law, and more.
Tel Aviv University (est. 1956) was founded by incorporating three existing institutions to meet the need for a university in the Tel Aviv area, the country's most populous region. Today it is Israel's largest university, offering a wide spectrum of disciplines and placing considerable emphasis on both basic and applied research. The university houses specialized institutes which focus on strategic studies, health systems management, technological forecasting, and energy studies.
Haifa University (est. 1963), which serves as a center of higher education in the northern part of the country, offers opportunities for interdisciplinary studies; its interdepartmental centers, institutes and overall architectural plan are structured to facilitate this approach. The university includes a unit for the study of the kibbutz as a social and economic entity, as well as a center dedicated to the advancement of understanding and cooperation between Jews and Arabs in Israel.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (est. 1967, Be'er Sheva) was established to serve the residents of southern Israel and to encourage the social and scientific development of the country's desert region. It has made major contributions in arid zone research, and its medical school has pioneered community-oriented medicine in the country. The university's campus at Kibbutz Sde Boker houses a research center for the study of the historical and political aspects of the life and times of David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister.
Regional colleges offer academic courses under the auspices of one of the universities, making it possible for students to begin studying for a degree near their home and complete it at the university's main campus.
Some specialized institutes provide various disciplines in art, music, dance, fashion, nursing, rehabilitation therapies, teaching and sports, respectively. Several private degree-granting colleges offer subjects in great demand such as business administration, law, computers, economics and related topics. At some, additional tracks are available, leading to certificates or vocational diplomas in a variety of subjects ranging from technology and agriculture to marketing and hotel trades.
The Open University (est. 1974), patterned on the British model, offers distinctive, non-traditional higher education opportunities towards a bachelor's degree by utilizing flexible methods based primarily on self-study textbooks and guides, supplemented by structured assignments and periodic tutorials, with final examinations.
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