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Overview of Education System in Israel

Israel is situated in the Middle East and it has the distinction of being the only Jewish majority state in the world. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the population of Israel is 8,296,000. The literacy rate was 99.55% (UNESCO Institute of Statistics) where the female literacy rate is 99.44% and the male literacy rate is 99.65%. 

Educational Snapshot of Israel

Overview of Educational System in Israel
According to a Ministry of Education report, in the academic year 2013-2014, around 66 institutions of higher education are there in Israel in the following composition:

  • Research Universities: 7
  • Open University of Israel: 1
  • Academic Colleges: 37
  • Teacher Training Colleges: 21

Gross Enrollment Ratio of Students in Israel

Pre-Primary Education: According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, gross enrollment ratio for pre-primary education in Israel was 101.39 in 2012. Female gross enrollment ratio  was 101.21 and male gross enrollment ratio was 101.56.

Primary Education: As per the Institute, gross enrollment ratio in primary education was 105.64 in 2012. Female gross enrollment ratio was 105.90 while male gross enrollment ratio was 105.40.

Lower Secondary Education: 2012 gross lower secondary enrollment ratio was 103.08 according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics. Female gross lower secondary enrollment ratio was 103.94 and male enrollment ratio was 102.26.

Upper Secondary Education: According to the Institute, gross enrollment ratio in upper secondary education was 99.52. Female gross enrollment ratio was 100.97 while the male enrollment ratio was 98.16.

Secondary Education: The gross enrollment ratio in secondary education is 101.36. The female gross enrollment ratio in secondary education was 102.50 while the male gross enrollment ratio was 100.28.

Tertiary Education: The gross enrollment ratio in tertiary education was 67.89. Female gross enrollment ratio was 77.33 while male gross enrollment ratio was 58.82. 

Net Enrollment Ratio of Students in Israel

Pre-Primary Education: Net enrollment ratio for pre-primary education as per the UNESCO Institute of Statistics was 96.96 in 2012. Net enrollment ratio for females was 97.32. Male net enrollment ratio was 96.62.

Primary and Secondary Education: Net enrollment ratio for primary education is 97.30 in 2012. For females, the net enrollment ratio was 97.83 while the ratio for males was 96.80. Net enrollment ratio for secondary education was 97.68 in the same year. For females, the net enrollment ratio in secondary education was 99.26 while the male net enrollment ratio was 96.18.

Facts and Figures Regarding Education in Israel

Overview of Education System in Israel
Number of Students: As per a Ministry of Education report, during the academic year 2013-2014, around 308,335 students opted for a degree of which 236,770 were students at the undergraduate level, 59,700 were Master’s degree students, 10,650 were PhD students and 1,215 were studying for a diploma.  The number of undergraduate students has increased during the past 20 years by more than 3 times, arriving at 190,810 in 2012-2013.

Students per Discipline: In the academic year 1996-1997, there was a 24% increase in the number of undergraduate students in disciplines such as computer sciences, mathematics, engineering and natural sciences. Proportion of such students has risen till 2001-2002 to decline somewhat at 28% in 2012-2013.  Quantity of applicants for undergraduate studies in universities increased steadily till the mid-2000s where it rose to an all time high of 39,400. In recent years, the number has fallen to 29,750 applicants during the academic year 2012-2013. This is lower than the number of applicants in 2011-2013. Proportion of applicants ranged from 61% during the 1990s and early 2000s to 68% during the academic year 2012-2013. 

Master’s Degree Course Students: In 2012-2013, around 57,885 Master’s degree students studied at universities including 39,090 in research universities and 3,415 in Open University, while the remaining went to academic colleges. A most preferred specialization in the Master’s level degree courses was Business Administration. Number of applicants for Master’s degree in universities rose from 18,000 in 2004-2005 to 22,670 in 2010-2011. Number fell somewhat in the years thereafter reaching 22,460 students in 2012-2013. Around 77% of the applicants in 2012-2013 were accepted into Master’s degree courses. The applicant to student ratio was 1.7 in 2012-2013. 

Award of Degrees: During 2012-2013, higher educational institutions awarded 71,545 degrees as against 15,500 in the 1990s. Number of bachelor’s degree graduates was 48,310 while the number for Master’s degree courses was 20,770. Number of doctoral graduates reached 1,540 and number of students awarded a diploma was 925.

Number of Arab Students: During the year 2012-2013, as per the Council of Higher Education, around 29,240 Arab students attended higher educational institutions and 5210 Arab students attended Bachelor’s or Master’s degree courses at the Open University at Israel. Of these, 23,605 studied for bachelor’s degree courses, 4,895 for Master’s degree, 510 for PhD degrees and 230 for diplomas. 

Number of Women Students: There has been a considerable increase in the participation of female pupils in higher education. Women comprised 57% of all students in 2012-2013, according to a Council of Higher Education report. Currently women form a majority of the students namely 56% of bachelor’s degree students, 61% of the Master’s and 52% of the PhD. Number of academic positions in universities has risen by 6.7% since 2008-2009 to reach 4,585 positions in 2012-2013.   

Why Study in Israel?

Fine Blend of Theoretical and Practical: Israel offers a fine balance between academic excellence and practical experiences. It has a rich historical and cultural legacy and it is an interesting nation to pursue studies in. Well developed educational system, competent professors and interesting courses await those who opt for higher studies in Israel. 

Courses in English: In Israel, students can opt for many English undergraduate programs. This is ideal for those who want to reach Aliyah or study further at Israeli educational institutions. Israel offers many programs in English including subjects such as English, Psychology and Business and Economics.  

Cutting Edge Graduate Programs: Israel’s academic institutions offer many different graduate programs such as med schools and humanities as well as social science courses. Science schools which are renowned all over the world such as the Weizmann institute are perfect for those who want to excel in this field. Many Nobel laureates form the faculty of such institutions. 
 
Excellent Student Exchange Programs: Israeli universities and colleges offer exchange programs of three kinds:
  • Semestral
  • Summer
  • Yearly
Several Israeli academic institutions take part in the EU Erasmus Mundus programs as well as projects. Israeli higher educational institutions have some of the top student exchange programs in the world. 
 
State-of-the-Art Internships: Universities also provide students who come to Israel a chance to study and work with some of the best Israeli companies. Such internships include theoretical as well as practical component and many of the participants get to work in NPOs as well as leading tech companies. 

Conclusion

Israel is the preferred academic destination for those who want to access top quality education. This nation has a systematic and well organized educational system alongside cutting edge programs and excellent internships. Student exchange programs are also there coupled with scholarship opportunities for students from Eastern as well as Western nations.
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