Many people from around the world are enrolled in English-language courses at Israeli universities and colleges. In a bid to double the number of international students to 24,000 by 2022, the Israeli Council for Higher Education has now approved an additional 26 English-language courses of study.

The seven undergraduate courses and 19 master’s degree courses will mirror existing Hebrew-language course offerings in fields such as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), entrepreneurship and innovation, agriculture, urban studies, environmental studies, Judaism, Islam and Middle East studies.

The council explained that the language barrier is mostly to blame for the relatively low percentage (1.4%) of foreign students in Israel. Other barriers are presented by regulations on visas and work permits, which the council is attempting to streamline in cooperation with government agencies.

Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, chair of the council’s planning and budget committee, commented that the additional courses in English will help “transform the State of Israel into a magnet for outstanding students from different countries worldwide” and will “strengthen Israel’s international reputation in the world and help develop international capabilities for Israeli students who will study together with foreign students in Israeli institutions.”

Israeli colleges and universities currently offering English-language courses include: Ariel University, Bar Ilan University, Ben-Gurion University, University of Haifa, Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Weizmann Institute of Science, IDC Herzliya, Machon Lev/Machon Tal – The Jerusalem College of Technology, Michlalah Jerusalem College, Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, Herzog Academic College, Kinneret College, Vatel School of Business and The College of Law and Business.

In addition, the nonprofit Israel Tech Challenge, in an effort to reduce the shortage of qualified high tech engineers in Israel, has announced its upcoming semester of training courses in English. Ranging from five to 10 months, the spring semester includes data science, hardware engineering with a focus on chip design verification engineering, and full-stack software development.