Statistic: More students in college and university

Israel's Statistics Bureau records increase in number of students in higher education, with most of the increase from Arab sector.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Students at Ben Gurion University
Students at Ben Gurion University
Dudu Greenspan/Flash 90

The 2015-2016 academic year saw an increase in the number of students in Israeli colleges and universities, following a decrease in the number of students recorded during the 2014-2015 academic year, according to a report released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) Sunday.

The past year saw the addition of 3,600 students, thanks to 3,200 more Arab students and 800 more haredi students enrolling in Israeli schools. Among other populations there was a decline of 400 students.

During the 2015-2016 academic year Israel's 63 institutions of higher learning taught 314.4 thousand students (46.2 thousand of whom learned at the Open University in Ra'anana).

There was a 0.8% increase in the number of students in bachelor's programs compared to the previous year. The number of students taking bachelor's courses in universities declined by 2.8% however, as more Israelis opted to study in non-university settings.

The number of students in graduate programs increased by 3.6% over the previous year. However, the number of graduate students attending universities declined by 0.2%. There was an increase of 0.5% in the number of PhD students.

About 60% of all new students majored in the social sciences and humanities, the CBS reported. For graduate students the percentage of students studying in those fields was even greater, at 70%. A plurality of PhD (40.3%) students studied mathematics.

Women accounted for the majority of all degrees received in Israel (58.6%). The proportion of female degree recipients among the Arab population was even higher (67.9%).

The CBS also reported that there was a significant increase in the number of Arabs taking courses in higher education last year. The number of Arabs in undergraduate programs increased from 9.8% of the total undergraduate population to 14.3%. Graduate programs also saw a rise in the percentage of students from Arab backgrounds, from 3.6% to 11.7%. In addition, the percentage of Arabs in Israeli PhD programs increased from 2.8% to 6%.