Revolution in Israeli Engineering and High-Tech Education
(Via CHE Jerusalem) - The Council for Higher Education released data on undergraduate students in the 2018-19 academic year showing that the high-tech revolution continues.
This is the second consecutive year in which engineering studies have the highest enrollment (35,041 students, representing 18.4% of the total). The growth highlights the impressive achievement for the national program for strengthening engineering* and high-tech majors. Over the past ten years, Israel has seen an increase of 80% in the number of computer science students.
The CHE’s multi-year program to strengthen high-tech education is a result of the government decision to increase the number of graduates suited for the high-tech industry.
As part of the program, the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) allocated incentives worth several hundred million shekels to academic institutions for the absorption of students and faculty members, as well as constructing and upgrading research and educational infrastructure.
In addition, the PBC continues to support the opening of innovative academic programs in high-tech fields.
One in four Israeli undergraduates – more than 50,000 – studies engineering, computer science or mathematics
The data show the following trends:
In 2018-19, 16,780 students studied computer science (including mathematics and statistics), compared with only 9,122 in 2009-10.
For decades, the social sciences were the largest fields of study in Israel and considered the most sought-after majors. Engineering studies have overtaken the social sciences (34,324 students, representing 18% of the total), for the second consecutive year.
While law and business administration programs were considered highly desirable courses of study over the past 10 years, recent data show an approximately 20 to 25 percent drop in enrollment, while high-tech programs have grown.
Professor Yaffa Zilbershats, Chairperson of the PBC, said:
“The new data show that we have accomplished our mission, and thanks to incentives given to academic institutions and the expansion of infrastructure, we were able to revolutionize the subjects studied in Israel – many students are choosing the challenge of high-tech studies.
This significant change in the academic system will have a major impact on the Israeli economy. In collaboration with academic institutions, we are determined to continue the trend, to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Israel and to integrate academia and industry.”
The CHE notes that technological changes require the academic world to make necessary adjustments to the traditional division of students into various faculties. The academy should work to break down barriers and create interdisciplinary programs that will provide graduates with diverse tools. For example, students studying high-tech, business and economics will also be able to include courses in philosophy, literature, art, history, cultural studies, and more, in their degree program.
* Engineering includes the following fields: Electrical Engineering and Electronics, Computer and Software Engineering, Information Systems Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical and Materials Engineering, and Industrial and Management Engineering, as well other types of engineering.
About the Council for Higher Education
The Council for Higher Education (CHE) is the official authority for higher education in Israel.
The CHE determines policy for universities and colleges and introduces programs to improve the overall quality of education in Israel.
It supports innovation and excellence in teaching and works to make higher education accessible to the entire Israeli population, while strengthening the internationalization of the higher education system.
The CHE promotes scientific research, the advancement of women in academia and reinforces the high-tech professions. For more information please visit https://che.org.il/en/.
COUNCIL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION | המועצה להשכלה גבוהה | مجلس التعليم العالي
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