(Source: Central Bureau of Statistics)
In the course of the past two decades, higher education in Israel has been expanding – from 21 academic institutions with 88,800 students in 1989/90 to 70 institutions with 306,600 students in 2011/12. The overall study body increased by an average of 5.8 percent eaceh year, stemming primarily from the opening of academic colleges.
In the 2011/12 academic year, the number of new (first-year) bachelor’s students remained stable in universities but increased significantly in colleges. The population of master’s students grew in all the academic frameworks and especially in colleges.
The most common fields of study in Israel are, among bachelor’s students – the humanities and social sciences; among master’s students – the humanities as well as business and management; and among doctorate students – the natural sciences and mathematics.
Women in Israel were a majority among those studying for each of the degrees: 56.1% for a bachelor’s degree, 59.8% for a master’s degree and 52.4% for a doctorate.
Architecture and urban planning as well as medicine were the academic subjects in highest demand among candidates relative to the supply of available places.
Among new bachelor’s students, the highest average psychometric exam grade was achieved by those studying medicine – 742 points (medical studies take place only in the universities). The lowest average psychometric grade in universities was recorded among new students studying towards a multi-disciplinary degree in the social sciences (447 points), and in colleges – among those studying education (377 points).
Sixty percent of young people in Israel are expected to begin studies towards a bachelor’s degree in the course of their life. The difference in rates between women and men was significant (66% versus 53%).