Israeli HEIs to launch English language reform

Published 13/01/2020

Israeli universities and colleges are set to launch English language reforms to ensure students are equipped with the necessary English skills to integrate into the local and international jobs market.

The Council for Higher Education has approved the new reform based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, and over the next five years, academic institutions will adopt a study method to ensure students gain English skills in reading, writing, comprehension and speech.

All students starting undergraduate studies as of the 2021/22 school year will take at least two courses in the English language, determined according to their level of English at the time of acceptance.

“[The studies are important] as part of… their optimal integration into the local and international employment market”

As a result of this new reform, dozens of new English taught courses will be developed in Israeli universities and colleges.

In addition to increasing the English level of Israeli students, the initiative hopes to open the gates of Israeli higher education to more international students.

This push complements the CHE’s Study in Israel program and will enable academic institutions to open English taught programs which integrate students from around the world.

The initiative was coordinated with the Ministry of Education in order to ensure that Israeli students entering universities and colleges are prepared for the new format.

Ido Perlman, deputy chair of the CHE, said the council views English-language studies as being “very important” for academic and international purposes.

“[The studies are important] as part of the provision of sufficient tools and knowledge to students during the course of their academic degree studies as well as their optimal integration into the local and international employment market after completing their studies.”

The CHE and its Planning and Budgeting Committee will assist academic institutions in preparing for this initiative and recommends establishing systems to train English lecturers to teach the four required skills according to the CEFR, train teachers to teach course content in English and to translate courses into English.

In order to ensure that all students are successful in this new program, the CHE also recommended that higher education institutions establish institutional systems to identify and assist students having trouble with English-language studies.

It also recommends establishing an institutional infrastructure to identify and assist students having difficulties in English-language studies.

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