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"




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


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