Education Types in Israel
There are five different types of institutions that constitute the Israeli system of higher education. The first of these is public universities that are primarily aimed at providing education and conducting research. Largely government funded, they are the cheapest option for studying in Israel.
The second group of educational institutions is that of the Regional Colleges. These are affiliated with a public university and offer undergraduate education. They used to offer only the first two years of a smaller selection of educational programs where the last year would have to be completed at the parent university. Today however, some of these colleges have been licensed to offer complete bachelor programs in certain areas.
The third group is that of the trade and vocational schools. These offer specialized education in for example law, management, technology, and teacher development. Others offer training in such areas as paramedics, optometry or dental hygiene. Yet others educate future cooks in the culinary arts or hotel managers in hospitality management.
Foreign universities are the fourth group making higher education available in Israel. There are thirty active campuses run by universities based around the world - many of them leading universities in the world rankings. Education programs are available to both Israeli students and students from abroad. These universities generally offer programs run in English making an education in Israel possible also for students who do not master Hebrew.
The fifth and final group of higher education institutions is the private universities. These have emerged during the last decade and are often specialized in a certain area such as business or law. Private universities receive no funding from the Israeli government. This means that they are largely funded through tuition fees, making them far more expensive than the public universities.
Degrees Offered in Israeli Higher Education
The degree structure in Israel is much like the international standard set within the European Union, based on the Anglosaxon systems in the UK and the United States. An undergraduate education generally results in a Bachelor degree. Postgraduate education is split into master degrees and the option of doing a further specialist doctorate or PhD .
Bachelor degrees generally take three years to complete at university and four years at a college. International students are often required to study an extra preparatory year before being admitted to a full program. This is in part to prepare students for studying in Hebrew.
A major difference between Israeli higher education and that of the UK or USA is that a bachelor degree in Israel is often specialized and students study two majors exclusively. Educational programs aiming to prepare students for a certain vocation do not require the completion of a bachelor degree first, as in the United States. Instead, specialized education such as medicine or law starts directly; programs generally lasting longer than a normal Bachelor degree and teaches this one area of study exclusively.
Completing a master degree in Israel takes two years. Many degrees are available in two forms - with or without the requirement of a master thesis. Programs with the master thesis requirement are aimed at students wishing to continue on into a doctorate or PhD degree course. For those not aiming to continue on to doctorate level, the remaining credits are usually filled with additional courses and aimed at career development.
Doctorate degrees in Israel are much the same as in the rest of the world. They are the highest level of academic achievement. These degrees focus on a scientific thesis/dissertation that must qualify as an original and significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge.
Diploma studies are non degree programs that focus on a specific career or skill. These are offered by many private institutions as well as by some universities.
Academic Year in Israel
Israel has a two-semester academic year generally starting in September. Some courses are available with a spring semester start in January. You may also be able to attend summer courses - especially in the case of Hebrew classes.
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