Israel Launches English Reform

The Council for Higher Education has approved the new reform
regarding conversion of academic educational programs from Hebrew to English
and to run them in parallel to each other as bilingual education. Academic
institutions will adopt a study method to ensure students gain English skills
in reading, writing, comprehension and speech.
The CHE has updated its decisions regarding conversion of
academic educational programs from Hebrew to English and to run them in
parallel to each other.
The updated decisions include, inter alia, the following
emphases:
Academic institutions will be able to convert existing
degree programs (bachelor’s or master’s) from Hebrew to English. These
institutions will submit an application to convert the program to the CHE,
while the Hebrew language programs will continue to operate as usual.
Institutions that have the autonomy to open master’s degree
study programs will be able to convert degree programs (bachelor’s or master’s)
as well as to open joint study programs together with institutions overseas
without requiring the CHE’s approval.
English language study programs will be taught alongside
Hebrew language programs and shall be identical in academic level and scope to
Hebrew language study programs.
The CHE emphasizes the centrality of the Hebrew language in
Israel as the national language and the need to maintain Hebrew language
courses of study that are currently offered at institutions of higher
education. The multiyear plan to reinforce internationalism in higher education
is intended to increase the competitive level of Israeli academia by accepting
outstanding students from abroad and strengthening the international reputation
of Israeli institutions.
This push complements the CHE’s Study in Israel program and
will enable academic institutions to open English taught programs which
integrate students from around the world.
CHE Deputy Chair, Professor Ido Perlman said, “The increase
in the number of international students depends, inter alia, on the existence
of English language study programs and the absence of a sufficient number of
such programs today; the ability to absorb international students (and
international staff) is limited. The updated decision permits institutions to
expand their offering of English language programs and joint programs with
institutions abroad with greater ease and will encourage them to do so while
maintaining academic standards.”


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