What Makes the University of Haifa So Popular?

As one of the leading higher education institutions in Israel, the University of Haifa is already a popular choice for advanced education. However, there is much more to this highly regarded university. Just consider these eight things you may not have known about the University of Haifa.

1. Origin. Although the University of Haifa is regarded as the fourth university in Israel, it actually got its start as part of another academic institution. When the university first opened in 1963, it was a branch of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Its first year, the university welcomed 472 students. The first graduating class had 75 students in 1967. However, enrollment grew steadily during these early years, and by 1972, the University of Haifa declared its independence and became the sixth academic institution in the entire country.

2. Multicultural focus. Israel is a relatively small country with unique cultural divides. The University of Haifa is well aware of the inherent conflicts in that region of the world and strives to offer a safe place for students of all backgrounds to interact. The cooperation between Jewish and Arab students exists not only in the classroom but throughout the campus as well. Students from other backgrounds are also readily incorporated into the study body. There are Christian, Muslim, Druze and secular students represented on campus as well.

3. Hecht Museum. Anyone from around the region can appreciate the Hecht Museum. Located on the campus, this museum was opened in 1984 by Reuben Hecht. As a member of the university’s Board of Governors, Hecht had a unique interest in the university and its potential. As an avid archeological collector, Hecht had a private collection of important artifacts from Israel’s long history. This collection became the basis of the museum, which was expanded to include other exhibits as well. Now the museum provides an in depth look at Israel’s history with an emphasis on the Byzantine period. Visitors can see genuine Semitic seals, pieces from the Temple Mount, Phoenician metal pieces and more. One of its most notable displays is the Ma’agan Michael Ship, which is a shipwreck from the fifth century. There is also an impressive collection of art at the museum, including pieces from Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Max Liebermann.

4. Research centers. Higher education facilities are not only about teaching students. They are also about advancing study for everyone. In this, the University of Haifa excels with impressive research facilities. The research at the University of Haifa is varied thanks to its diverse academic focus. From the advanced science at the Evolution Institute to the growing need at the Center for the Study of National Security, there is something for every academic interest here. There is also important work at the Center for the Study of the Information Society, which looks at information technology in the modern age. Its most prestigious research center is affiliated with IBM. This facility was opened in 1972 and considers the role of technology across a wide range of disciplines. The IBM facility at the University of Haifa is the largest IBM facility outside the United States, making it particularly noteworthy for potential students and faculty.

5. Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences. Thanks to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, the University of Haifa has opportunities to explore marine-related fields. To accomplish this, the university operates its Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences. The school utilizes the Caesarea Center, which is a unique diving facility that gives students and teachers hands on access to the sea and its inhabitants. Students can pick from three fields of study, including Marine Biology, Marine Geosciences and Maritime Civilizations. The Caesarea Center is so important to the region that it is also used for the Israeli Antiquities Authority.

6. Political hotbed. With a range of subject areas for students to study, graduates from the University of Haifa go on to do many things. However, many of the most notable students to graduate from the university have pursued careers in the military and politics with a great deal of success. Of particular note are Assad Assad, who served in the IDF before becoming a diplomat and politician, Meir Dagan, who worked as the director of the Mossad, and politicians Yaakov Edri, Haneen Zoabi, Carmi Gillon and more.

7. Creative inspiration. Graduates from the University of Haifa have also excelled in other areas. Ashraf Barhom has starred in a number of major films, including the American production “The Kingdom.” Ram Karmi is a noted architect, and Bernardo Sorj has done impressive work in sociology. Ronen Bergman is known around the world for his work as an author of investigative journalism. Even renowned footballer Yochanan Vollach is a graduate of the University of Haifa.

8. Opportunities for all. The University of Haifa continues to attract students because it has programs that support learners at all points of their academic careers. Although most of the original students at the University of Haifa were teachers and the original academic catalogue offered only degrees in Humanities and Social Sciences, the university has evolved significantly since that time. Now there are additional degree tracks in Law, Social Welfare, Health Studies, Education and Science. In addition to these undergraduate options, postgraduate students can pursue degrees in Management, Marine Sciences and more. With this range of options, over 18,000 students attend the University of Haifa each year. This includes nearly 9,000 undergraduate students and 7,000 postgraduate students. The University of Haifa also has a thriving population of international students, meaning that there are students from around the world studying there.

Clearly, the University of Haifa is more than another academic institution. This world-class facility is a unique academic environment that must be experienced in order to be fully appreciated.