The Council of Higher Education of Israel had approved a new reform that aims to improve the English skills of University and college students and attract more foreign students.
Due to this new reform, Israel has decided to increase the number of English-taught courses in Israeli universities and colleges. Also, all students enrolling in undergraduate courses in the 2021-2022 academic year will need to take a minimum of two courses in the English language.
All higher educational institutions in Israel will adopt English language studies and assessment approach based on the “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages”. The CEFR approach involves studying the four language skills:
Deputy Chairman of the CHE, Prof Ido Perlman, said that the Council acknowledges that the English language is important for academic and international purposes. Knowledge of the English language better equips the students to integrate into the domestic and international job market after completing their studies.
Students will be enrolled in courses according to their level of English at the time of admission. This may include:
The new reform aims to improve not only the English skills of Israeli students but also aims to attract more foreign students. Israel hopes to double the number of international students in the country under the Study in Israel program. The new reform will help Universities and colleges in Israel open more English-taught courses that will attract more students around the world. At present, most courses in Israel are only offered in Hebrew.
The CHE has set aside a budget of ILS 435 million to increase the number of foreign students till 2022. Currently, international students make up just 1.4% of the total student population. In contrast, the international student population is at least 6%of the total student population in other OECD countries. Israel aims to bring the international student population between 3% and 6% by 2022. The target is to increase the number of foreign students from 11,000 in 2017 to 24,000 in 2022. Israel will mainly be focusing on attracting both Jewish and non-Jewish students from India, China and North America.
There were 1,933 international students enrolled in undergraduate courses in 2017 in Israel. The CHE aims to increase it to 2,500 by 2022. For Masters courses, the target is to increase international student numbers from 1,462 in 2017 to 3,000 by 2022. For doctoral courses, the target is to increase foreign student numbers from 791 in 2017 to 1,265 by 2022 and for post-doctoral courses- from 1,043 in 2017 to 2,300 by 2022.
Most foreign students in Israel are enrolled in mostly short-term courses. These include semesters abroad and summer courses. Israel aims to increase its numbers from 6,000 in 2017 to 15,000 in 2022.
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