Higher Education Forum

The Higher Education Forum was established following an international conference held in December, 2004, at the Samuel Neaman Institute, under the heading "Transition to Mass Higher Education Systems."

Samuel Neaman Institute, in collaboration with "Bashaar - Academic Community for Israeli Society", run the Higher Education Forum, which meets several times per year.

The aim of the forum is to ensure that the unique characteristics of the Israeli academy are maintained and strengthened, and to draw attention when academic freedom jeopardized.

The forum provides a critical examination of the academic system as an independent and free system, in order to reflect, assist, and influence decision-making processes in matters of higher education policy, in the ‘Knesset’, government, Israel Council for Higher Education, Planning and Budgeting Committee, and in the academic institutes for education, so that every decision will be made after all circumstances and potential influence have been openly discussed.

Steering Committee 2021:
Prof. Shimon Yankelewitz (Chair of the Higher Education Forum), Hagit Messer-Yaron (Chair of Bashaar), Prof. Aaron (Aharon) Ciechanover, Prof. Yaarah Bar-on,
Prof. Irad Yavneh (CEO of Samuel Neaman Institute), Dr. Vered Ariel-Nahari (CEO of Bashaar), Mr. Amos Shapira.


To recent Recorded Meetings of the Higher Education Forum.


Meetings from the past:

 Meeting Number 1 - April 15, 2005
Greetings: Hagit Messer-Yaron, Nadav Liron
Amnon Pazy: "The Master Plan for the Higher Education System in Israel, Planning versus Reality".
Round Table Discussion


Meeting Number 2 - May 13, 2005
on the subject: "Higher Education Problems from the Universities point of view"
View Video

Meeting Number 3 - June 17, 2005
on the subject: "Higher education problems from the colleges point of view"

Meeting Number 4 - November 11, 2005
on the subject: "The targets of higher education during the current five-year plan, and for the next five-year plan"


Meeting Number 5 - January 6, 2006
on the subject: "Higher Education, Politics and Academic Freedom"


Meeting Number 6 - February 9, 2007
Part A, on the subject: "Integrating college researchers with university research"
Part B, on the subject: "Academic colleges research: the need and reality"

Meeting Number 7 - March 23, 2007
on the subject: "Issues in defining appropriate roles among colleges and universities"

Meeting Number 8 - April 4, 2007
on the subject: "CHE preparation plan for the challenges facing the system in the following years"


 Meeting Number 9 - May 23, 2008
on the subject: "Higher education- where to? In light of Shochat Committee Report"


Meeting Number 10 - July 25, 2008

Meeting #10, participating Minister of Education, Yuli Tamir (on the left)

Meeting Number 11 - January 30, 2009
Meeting no. 11 took place on January 30, 2009, on the subject of "Tuition and Assistance Systems."
Lecturer: Dr. Liora Meridor, a member of the Schochat Committee that examined the higher education system and Chairperson of the sub-committee to determine assistance systems and tuition.

Meeting Number 12 - March 17, 2009
Meeting no. 12 took place on March 17, 2009, Discussion session on the subject of "The Future of Higher Education in Israel"
Moderator: Prof. Moshe Moshe, Director of the Samuel Neaman Institute.
Participants: Prof. Shosh Arad, President of Rupin College and Chairman of the Committee of College Presidents (VARAM), Prof. Paul Feigin, Executive Vice President - Technion, Prof. Zvi Galil, President of Tel-Aviv University, Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron, President of the Open University, Prof. Mordechai (Moti) Shechter, Haifa University and former President of Tel Hai Academic College, Prof. Zehev Tadmor Chairman of the Samuel Neaman Institute and former President of the Technion. Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, former Head of the National Economic Council and Chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee (VATAT).


Meeting Number 13 - May 8, 2009
Meeting no. 13 took place on May 8, 2009, on the subject of "Higher Education in the Arab Sector".
Speaker: Prof. Fuad Fares, Haifa University, member of MALAG (CHE - Council for Higher Education).
Participants included guest Prof. Avishay Braverman, Israeli Minister of Minority Affairs.

Meeting Number 14 - November 13, 2009
Meeting no. 14 took place on November 13, 2009, on the subject of "The Model of Higher Education in California - Evaluations and Directions."
Lecturer: Prof. Sheldon Rothblatt, University of California at Berkeley USA.


Meeting Number 15 - December 25, 2009
Meeting no. 15 took place on December 25, 2009, on the subject "The Higher Education Policy in Israel."
Speaker: Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, Chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC/VATAT)
Responding: Prof. Shosh Arad, President of Rupin College and Chairman of the Committee of College Presidents (VARAM). Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, President of Haifa University and Chairman of the Committee of University Presidents (VERA).
The meeting started with a review of the role of the PBC in Israel's higher education system by Prof. Ami Volansky, Tel-Aviv University


Meeting Number 16 - May 28, 2010
Meeting no. 16 took place on May 28, 2010, on the subject "Balancing Institutional Ambitions and Public Needs"


Meeting Number 17 - June 11, 2010
Meeting no. 17 took place on June 11, 2010, on the subject "University Governance"


Meeting Number 18 - January 07, 2011
Meeting no. 18 took place on January 07, 2011, on the subject "Integration of the Social & Geographic periphery in Higher Education".
Lecturers: Prof. Dan Ben-David, Itzik Turjeman, Prof. Moshe Mandelbaum, Etti Konor-Attias.


Meeting Number 19 - February 18, 2011
Meeting no. 19 took place on February 18, 2011, on the subject "academic Independence & Autonomy in Institutes of Higher Education"
Lecturer: Prof. Amnon Rubinstein.


Meeting Number 20 - May 06, 2011
Meeting no. 20 took place on May 06, 2011, on the subject "The Haredi Community in Higher Education".
Lecturers: Prof. Ithamar Gruenwald, Rabbi Yehezkel Fogel, Prof. Judith Gal-Ezer, Prof. Joseph Bodenheimer, Mrs. Adina Bar-Shalom.


Meeting Number 21 - January 20, 2012
Meeting no. 21 took place on January 20, 2012, on the subject "Planning the future of public and private Higher Education"

Meeting Number 22 - May 25, 2012  
On the subject "Academic Convention" formulated in the framework of the Forum.
The purpose of the Convention is to formulate the basic principles that define the status, nature and functions of the higher education system in Israel; its desired structure, the relationships between government and other public systems, and the relationship between the various institutions. If all the relevant parties will in principles adopt the Convention and agree to act upon it, this document could be used as a treaty which will ensure the academic vision of the higher education system in Israel.
The Chairman of the Panel was Prof. Zehev Tadmor , The Chairman of the Samuel Neaman Institute and former Chairman of "Bashaar" Mr. Moshe Vigdor Executive Director of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and the Council for Higher Education and Prof. Zeev Zachor former president of the Sapir College participated in the panel. The meeting took place at Tel Aviv University and was attended by about 60 people.

 Meeting Number 23 - December 21, 2012
On the subject "Globalization, Bologna process and the higher education system in Israel"
Bologna Process was intended to create an European area of higher education based on academic collaboration that will enable mobility of students, faculty and curricula between higher education systems of European countries.
Today Israel is not a part of the Bologna process, but attaches great importance to its principles and to raising awareness among higher education institutions in Israel to the benefits of the Bologna process.
Speakers: Prof. Sarah Guri Rosenblit - Dean of Technology and Development, The Open University.
Dr. Ami Shalit - Director and Academic Secretary ,Feinberg Graduate School, Weizmann Institute of Science.
The meeting was held at Tel Aviv University.

Meeting Number 24 - March 8th, 2013
On the subject "The status of Humanities in Higher Education"
Speakers: Prof. Dan Laor – Department of Literature The Jacob & Shoshana Schreiber Chair for Contemporary Jewish culture, Tel Aviv University.
Prof. Yossi Ben-Artzi – Department of Israel Studies, The University of Haifa.
Prof. Ruth HaCohen (Pinczower) – Department of Musicology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Prof. Avi Sagi – Department of Philosophy, Bar Ilan University.
The meeting was held at Tel Aviv University.


Meeting Number 25 – May 31, 2013
On the subject "Engineering Education in Higher Education and Science & Technology Education in the High School"
Moderator: Dr. Eli Eisenberg - Senior Deputy General for R&D and Training, ORT Israel.
Speakers: Prof. Paul D. Feigin - Senior Executive Vice President, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
Dr. Ofer Rimon - Director of Science and Technology Administration at the Israel Ministry of Education.
Giora Shalgi - Senior Research Fellow, The Samuel Neaman Institute, Technion. Mr. Shalgi was part of the lecturers panel, but was unable to attend the meeting. His presentation is attached at the end of the video.
The meeting was held at the Tel Aviv University.

 Meeting Number 26 – January 31, 2014
On the subject: "Fundamental questions related to academic studies of the Haredi population"
Moderator: Prof. Frances Raday - President, Concord Research Center for Integration of International Law in Israel The Haim Striks School of Law, COLMAN
Mandate Holder, UN Human Rights Council, Chair WG on Discrimination against Women
Speakers: Mr. Ilan Shahar- Vice president of research and advocacy, Amutat  Hiddush for religious freedom and information
Mrs. Adina Bar – Shalom - Chairman of the Haredi College of Jerusalem
Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund - Chairman of "Bashaar" and Chairman of the Magid Institute, The Hebrew University.
Dr. Reuven Gal - Head of project "Integrating Haredim" Samuel Neaman Institute, Technion
The meeting was held at the Tel Aviv University.

 Meeting Number 27 – May 2, 2014
On the subject: "Unity rather than Fragmentation: The Multi-Campus Institution of Higher Education in the Galilee"
Moderator: Prof. Aliza Shenhar – Provost The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College
Speakers: Aharon Beth-Halachmi - President – Federmann Enterprises, Industry & Technology, The Tel-Hai Academic College, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Prof.  Uri Kirsch - Neaman Institute, Technion  (in the past – Vice Chairman of planning and Budgeting committee (VATAT).
Mr. Gury Zilkha - Economic Consultant, Former Director General- Israeli Council for Higher Education and planning and Budgeting committee (VATAT).
The meeting was held at the Tel Aviv University.


Meeting Number 28 – January 30, 2015
On the subject: "Mobility in Higher Education"
Moderator: Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund
Speakers: Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron – Vice chair, Council for Higher Education.
Prof. Sarah Guri-Rosenblit - Dean of Development and Technology, The Open University of Israel.
Prof.  Raanan Rein - Vice President, Tel Aviv University
The meeting was held at the Tel Aviv University.



 Meeting Number 29 – March 27, 2015
On the subject: About the book – "Cracks in the Academy: Academic freedom, autonomy of universities, status and accessibility of students to higher education” by  Prof. Amnon Rubinstein, university professor, IDC Herzliya.
Moderator: Prof. Joshua Jortner - Tel Aviv University, Former President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
Speakers: Prof. Jacob Ziv - Distinguished Technion Professor Emeritus, Formar President of Israel Academy of Science and Humanities; Council for Higher Education - Chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee.
Prof. Zehev Tadmor - Chairman of the Samuel Neaman Institute,Technion and former President of the Technion.
Prof. Yuli Tamir - President of Shenkar College, Former Minister of Education
The meeting was held at the Tel Aviv University.


Meeting Number 30 – May 1, 2015
On the subject: "MOOCs and online academic learning – opportunities and risks"
Moderator: Prof. Uri Kirsch - Neaman Institute, Technion; active in higher education issues.
Speakers: Dr Yoram Kalman - Research Center for Innovation in Learning Technologies, The Open University of Israel.
Prof. Yoav Shoham - professor of computer science at Stanford University, High Tech entrepreneur, active in online education, in both the US and Israel. 
Prof. Nira Hativa - editor of "Teaching in the Academy", former director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Tel Aviv University and chairwoman of the Israeli organization of teaching centers.
Prof. Sheizaf Rafaeli - Director, The Center for Internet Research and member of the LINKS-ICORE Center for Learning in a Networked Society.
The meeting was held at the Tel Aviv University.

 Meeting Number 31 – January 8, 2016
On the subject: "The Independence of the Higher Education System in Israel"
Moderator: Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund - Chairman of "Bashaar" and former President of The Hebrew University.
Speakers: Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron - Electrical Engineering, Tel Aviv University.
MK Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg - former chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel.
Prof. Peretz Lavie - President of the Technion


Meeting Number 32 – April 1, 2016
On the subject: “The transition of the academic collages for education to the funding of the 'planning & budgeting committee
Moderator: Prof. Ronnie Lidor, President of the Academic College at Wingate, and Head of the Israeli Forum of Presidents of Academic Colleges of Education.
Speakers: Prof. Tamar Ariav, President of Beit Berl College.
Michal Neumann, Deputy Director-General for Academic Affairs, Secretary of the CHE Council for Higher Education.
Mr. Eyal Ram, Deputy Director & Administrative Manager of Teaching Staff Ministry of Education. 


Meeting Number 33 – June 14, 2016

On the subject: "The Future of the Council for Higher Education "

First Session - The Independence of the Council for Higher Education

Moderator: Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund, Chairman "Bashaar", The Former President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Prof. Peretz Lavie, President of the Technion, Chairman of VERA – Association of the Heads of Universities

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer, Vice President for Research,  The Israel Institute for Democracy

Prof. Moshe Maor, The Wolfson Family Chair of Public Administration, Department of Political Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Second Session - Politics and Academy

Moderator: Prof. Zehev Tadmor, Chairman of the  Samuel Neaman Institute, Former President of The Technion

Ayala Procaccia , former Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel

Prof. Ami Volansky, Tel Aviv University, Former Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Education

Prof. Nehemia Friedland, Former President of Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College

Prof. Eilon Vaadia, Director of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem




In the period since 1990, Israel's higher education system has experienced both rapid growth and rapid structural change. One of the central policy questions arising in the wake of these developments is: "What should the relative roles of public and private institutions be within the national higher education system?" In January 2008, an international symposium on Privatization in Higher Education Systems took place, which aimed to provide a systematic, informed answer to this question in the Israeli context. The conference was held under the auspices of the S. Neaman Institute, Bashaar-Academic Community for Israeli Society, the United States-Israel Education Foundation, the Azrieli Center for Economic Policy, Bar-Ilan University and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities 

The symposium's deliberation provided policy makers from the higher education system and from government with the opportunity to begin analysis of the Israeli situation in the light of international experience with the assistance of local higher education researchers and foreign experts. It is hoped that the process initiated by the symposium will encourage and contribute to the formulation of a rational, pro-active policy regarding privatization.  

To view conference program, presentations and videos - Click Here

 Meeting Number 34 – November 18, 2016

On the subject: " Affirmative action policy in higher education in Israel "

The lecturer in the meeting : Prof. Sigal Alon, Department of Sociology and Antropology, Tel Aviv University.

Moderator : Prof. Zehev Tadmor, Chairman of "Samuel neaman" Institure, Former president of Technion Institute.



Meeting Number 35 – March 31, 2017

On the subject: "External realtions of the Israeli Higher Education System"

Moderator: Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund, Chairman of "Basha'ar" and former president of the Hebrew University
Prof. Isaiah T Arkin, Vice President for R&D, The Authority for Research and Development, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Prof. Benny Geiger, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, The Israel Science Foundation
Dr. Merav Galili, Director, Global Resource Department, Bar Ilan University
Dr. Daphne Getz, Senior Research Fellow, Head of the Center for Science, Technology & Innovation Policy and Manager of the Data, Center Samuel Neaman Institute, Technion




Meeting Number 36 – June 16, 2017

On the subject: "Employment and Tenure in Higher Education"

Moderator: Prof. Hagit Messer - Yaron, Tel Aviv University, formar President of the Open University and the Vice Chair of the Council of Higher Education
Dana Aharon, Deputy Director General For Administration & Human Resources, at the Council for Higher Education/Planning and Budgeting Committee (CHE/PBC). Former Head of Faculty wages and working conditions in the Budget Division of the CHE/PBC
Dr. Daniel Mishori, Tel Aviv University, Former Chairman of the Coordinating Forum of Junior Academic Staff Organizations

Meeting Number 37 -November 3,2017

 On the subject: Energy security in Israel

Professor Wayne D. Kaplan, Executive Vice President for Research, Technion
Zohar Zisapel, Founder at RAD Data Communications
Dr. Sharon Bar-Ziv
Sapir Academic College | School of Law
University of Haifa, Faculty of Law | Haifa Center for Law & Technology
Moderator: Prof. Hagit Messer - Yaron
Tel Aviv University, former President of the Open University and the Vice Chair of the Council of Higher Education




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