Six-Year Plan for the Higher Education System

The plan includes a budget increase of NIS 7.5 billion for the higher education system, an emphasis on excellence in research and in the quality of education, integration of 2,000 new faculty members in universities and colleges, establishment of 30 research excellence centers, significant increase in the budgets for competitive research, and more.
The plan, which was formulated with the support of the Minister of Education and Chairman of the Council for Higher Education, Mr. Gideon Saar, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, and the Finance Ministry Budget Director, Dr. Udi Nissan, includes structural changes and the allocation of resources for upgrading Israel’s higher education infrastructure, and will enable long-term planning in the higher education system.
The plan calls for the absorption of significant numbers of new, high quality researchers as well as a significant improvement in the quality of instruction and in the services received by students, by upgrading teaching facilities, developing the learning environment, increasing the number of lecturers and teaching assistants and other steps.
The plan comes after two years in which, unlike in the past, the higher education system operated without a multi annual plan, which hindered the formulation and implementation of long term plans and the efficient allocation of resources to the system.
Under the multi-annual plan, a cumulative NIS 7.5 billion will be added to the higher education budget, with NIS 620 million to be added already in the coming academic year and more than NIS 2 billion to be added at the end of the process, i.e. in the sixth year (2016).
Key principles of the plan:
1. Change in the Planning and Budget Committee’s (PBC) budgeting model for the higher education system.
2. Hiring of new academic staff.
3. Significant increase in the budgets allocated by the PBC to competitive research through the Israel National Science Foundation and international foundations of which Israel is a member.
4. Establishment of 30 research excellence centers.
5. Maintaining the accessibility of higher education to the entire population, with emphasis on expanding accessibility to special population sectors, such as the minorities and the ultra-Orthodox community.
6. Investment of NIS 300 million throughout the period in upgrading and enhancing academic instruction and research facilities, including the renovation, construction and supply of classrooms, libraries, teaching aids, computerized systems, research equipment and laboratories.
7. Continued strengthening of the assessment of instruction and research quality, inter alia by increasing the independence of the assessment system, increasing the transparency of the results and applying corrective measures.

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