A New Global Center for Higher Education
For the past 70 years the United States has been the top destination for overseas college students from around the world. Faculties of leading institutions across Europe were left with the long arduous task of rebuilding after the Second World War, and as English became the dominant lingua franca the world over, few European schools outside of the UK could offer international programs capable of bridging the language gap.
In recent years, however, American universities have seen rising competition for overseas students – and not just from European colleges. As tuition rates in the US continue to soar and questions about academic inflation dog American post-secondary education, some foreign schools are starting to actively market themselves for the growing number of international students seeking to study abroad but might be turned off by the rising costs and declining dividends of an American degree.
The case of Israel is highly illustrative of this point. A number of leading Israeli institutions, from Hebrew University in Jerusalem to the Technion to Bar Ilan have crafted programs specifically designed for overseas students. But what exactly is the appeal of universities in Israel for foreign students?
Israel boasts some of the top-ranked colleges in the world – schools which offer quality of education on par with leading American universities, but at a fraction of the price. With their new international programs, these colleges now offer English language instruction, opening the door to students from around the world. Additionally, some programs offer more unique selling points, like the Technion’s Azrieli Start-uP MBA track focusing on start-up businesses, a program located in the heart of Israel’s “Silicon Wadi” and offering access to leaders of the booming Israeli start-up sector.
If the efforts being made by Israeli higher education pay off, they may well serve as a model for other non-English-speaking countries looking to compete with international higher education juggernauts like the US, Australia and UK.