Strengthening Internationalism in Higher Education

Strengthening Internationalization is intended to increase the competitive level of Israeli academia by accepting outstanding students from abroad and strengthening the international reputation of Israeli institutions. In addition promotion of Internationalization in higher education is extremely important not just from academic standpoint, but also from political (diplomatic ties with foreign countries), social and economic standpoints.

The percentage of international students studying in Israel currently stands at approximately 1.4%. This percentage is significantly lower than the average in OECD countries, which currently stands at approximately 6%. This stems, inter alia, from language difficulties as most instruction at institutions of higher education in Israel is offered in Hebrew. Similarly, there are political obstacles such as visas and work permits for spouses which hinder the ability to open the gates of these institutions to international students.

Currently, the staff of the CHE/PBC are working to remove obstacles vis-à-vis the relevant entities within various governmental ministries. In the framework of this program, quantitative goals have been set for international student enrolment such that: In 2022, it is expected that approximately 24,000 international students will study in Israel as opposed to
approximately 11,000 international students in 2017.

According to these quantitative targets, between 2017-2022, there will be an expected increase of 120% (from 1043 to 2300) in the percentage of international postdoctoral students and an increase of 60% (from 791 to 1265) in the number of international doctoral students accepted in institutions in Israel. Similarly, during the same years, we will double (from 1462 to 3000) the number of international master’s degree students and expect an increase of 30% (from 1933 to 2500) in the number of international bachelor’s degree students. The goals set by the CHE and the PBC also address the expected increase of 150% (from 6000 to 15,000) in the number of international students enrolled in short programs (such as summer courses, semester abroad, and so forth).

Policy Principles – International Students in Israel