Note: The government has not yet finalized its budget for tuition subsidies for the 2013-2014 academic year, but the dispute seems close to being resolved. NBN, which is currently in contact with the government, the Jewish Agency and Misrad HaKlita in order to preserve this important benefit for new Olim, will share updates as they develop.
The university system in Israel is very accommodating to new Olim. The level of the Israeli university system is very high, even equal to the top American universities. Hebrew lectures often include English readings. Advanced ulpan is available, and many places offer MA programs in English. Many professors are accessible, and allow Oleh students to write papers in English, and allow more time on exams.
Attending university in Israel is a great way to get your foot in the door, make Israeli contacts within your field, and acquire essential Hebrew skills. A degree from an Israeli institution provides the experience that can make a significant difference in your academic future, as well as your professional career.
As Olim Chadashim, you are entitled to a free higher education, subject to certain criteria such as age, prior degrees, etc.
There are eight major universities in Israel, as well as private universities and many other colleges (Michlalot).
Hebrew University has four campuses, three in Jerusalem and one in Rechovot. It has universal renown and a variety of popular fields of study, from law to nutrition.
Tel Aviv University has the benefit of being located in the "city that never sleeps." It offers programs of study in engineering, international relations, medicine, film and television, philosophy, English, and fine arts, among many others.
Bar Ilan University is the country's fastest-growing university, with over 33,000 students on its main campus. It is located in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, and has the benefit of an advanced Torah study option on campus.
Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva is named after the first prime minister of Israel. Its health science programs are very popular, especially physical therapy, nursing, public health, and gerontology.
Haifa University is the site of one of the few IBM research centers located outside the USA. Popular fields are the sciences, law, business, and education.
Weitzman Institute of Science is one of the top-ranking, multi-disciplinary research institutions in the world. It is located in Rechovot, and is relatively small, with only 2,500 students.
Technion in Haifa is where Professor Musa, inventor of the cure for Parkinson's disease, studied. Top fields include architecture, engineering, medicine, sciences, and mathematics.
The Open University is located in Ra'anana. It is based on a system of distance learning, and therefore has no admission requirements.
In addition to the programs listed above, there are many programs offered in English. These programs are private and the Minhal Hastudentim funding only partially covers the cost of tuition. For more information, please see English-Language University Programs.