International Education

Higher Education in IsraelIsrael has a well-respected system of higher education which includes public universities and public and private colleges. Some of its universities have high standings in world university rankings. Due to compulsory military service, many students do not begin their studies until their early 20's. However, Israel has a very high number of degrees per capita with about 20 percent of the population attaining a degree. The public universities are the most highly regarded of the higher education institutions. Admission to a university (other than the Open University) is limited to those with high grades in secondary school, good scores on matriculation exams and on the standardized entrance exam known as the Psychometric Entrance Test. Minimum scores and grades required for admission may vary by department within a university. Admissions to colleges varies by school and program but is generally less rigorous than at the universities. Public higher education is subsidized by the government so students pay only part of the cost of their education at these schools. Tuition tends to be in the range of $2000 - $3000 US per year. Each year, standard tuition rates are set for all public institutions by the Council for Higher Education. Tuition at private colleges varies considerably between schools. Higher education institutions are accredited by the Council for Higher Education which also authorizes schools to award specific types of degrees. Types of Schools and DegreesAs of 2010, there were eight public universities, six public regional colleges (which operate under the guidance of universities), over 20 teacher training colleges and over 30 other higher education institutions which include both publicly and privately funded schools. The universities award bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees while the other institutions primarily confer bachelor's degrees and some master's degrees. When applying to a school, students typically choose a major and a minor field of study although some expanded majors can be chosen without a minor. A bachelor's degree typically takes three years to complete with some majors such as engineering and law taking longer. Master's degrees can be earned in one or two years, depending on the program. International StudentsInternational students may study at Israeli universities and colleges as full-degree students or as independent study abroad or exchange students who will study there for one or two semesters. Although local students and teachers speak English and textbooks are often in English, courses are taught in Hebrew. Some programs allow students who don't speak Hebrew to attend an intensive Hebrew language program before beginning their degree studies. Admissions requirements vary by the university or college and also by the department. Students may be required to take the Israeli entrance examination or submit scores from another standardized exam such as the SAT. Admissions to the top tier universities require strong academic abilities as shown by a student's GPA, SAT scores or Israeli entrance exam scores. Public university and college tuition charged to international students is 25 percent more than what Israeli residents pay and is significantly less than what a student in the US students would pay to attend a public university or four-year college. About IsraelIsrael is a geographically small country located in the Middle East, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. Its population of over seven million consists primarily of Jews but also includes a significant minority of Arabs. Ongoing Israeli-Arab conflicts have resulted in a geographically segregated population and sporadic violence in the country. Israel ranks highly on many quality of life rankings and has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. It is one of the world's most economically developed nations, ranking 17th in a 2010 International Institute for Management Development report. It has strong science and math related industries such as high-tech and space science. Although it has a strong education system in general, it has been criticized for its lack of fairness in educating Arab residents. ResourcesIsraeli Council for Higher Education
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