Higher Ed Students Back in Class Today

The new school year began yesterday at Hebrew University, Ben-Gurion University, Bar-Ilan University and most colleges across the country. Studies are scheduled to begin at Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa and the Technion next Sunday. The Weizmann Institute of Science will begin its school year at the end of this month.

This school year, 293,000 students are enrolled in 66 institutions of higher learning across the country. They include seven research universities, the Open University, 35 colleges and 23 teachers' colleges.

The students include 228,750 people pursuing bachelor's degrees. Another 52,460 are enrolled in master's programs, an increase of 4.5 percent compared to last year.

Of the students in master's programs, 37,000 are enrolled at universities. Another 9,740 are enrolled at colleges, a 19-percent increase from last year.

Academic institutions are also reporting an increase in the number of students in Ph.D. programs. There are 10,600 Ph.D. candidates now, up from 3,900 at the start of the last decade.

According to the Council for Higher Education, of the 228,740 students who are working toward a bachelor's degree, 88,500 are enrolled at colleges while 75,200 are at universities. In 2003, colleges had 51,100 students.