Open University of Israel

From Academic Kids

The Open University of Israel (האוניברסיטה הפתוחה) is a distance-learning university in Israel.


Undergraduate studies

The Open University, as its name suggests, is open to anyone who wishes to attend it and study towards a bachelor's degree, without any prerequisites or screening process. However, the Open University still has high standards and demands academic achievements from its graduates.

Another way in which the Open University is open is in the study path it offers to its students. When enrolling into the university, the student does not need to decide the primary focus of his or her degree, nor to determine in advance the pace of the degree (how many years the studies will take). In fact, it is possible to take only a single course or several courses without receiving a degree, or to take several courses per semester, until finally enough courses relevant to a certain academic area have been taken to be eligible for a degree.

To achieve the goals outlined in the previous paragraphs, the Open University employs distance learning. The university has no single central campus, or rigid schedules, making it especially well-suited to those who are preoccupied with a job, army service, or their family.

The most important aspect of studying in the Open University is self-study from books. Each of the university's courses has a specially-prepared book with the course material and exercises, from which the students study on their own.

To supplement the self-study, there are occasional group meetings, where the students can ask the teacher questions about the material, and talk to other students who take the same course. These meetings take place throughout Israel, and are optional to attend. The students can also use the university's Internet site to communicate with the teachers or with other students. Some courses also feature video cassettes, multimedia CDs, and other audio-visual aids. Recently, video-conferencing technology has also enabled viewing a real-time lecture without the students all coming to a single campus.

For each course, students must complete several required assignments, and take a final exam.

Graduate studies

The Open University also has master's degree program for some of the areas it teaches, but those are not open to everyone and do have acceptance criteria. The university does not give doctorate degrees.


The Open University of Israel was planned in 1971, modeled after the UK's Open University. The first semester of studies in it commenced on October 17, 1976. In 1980, the Open University was officially recognized as an institute of higher education in Israel, and it was granted the right to give bachelor's degrees (BA). In 1982, 41 graduates received BA diplomas in the university's first diploma ceremony.

Since then, the university continues to grow. In 1987, it had 11,000 students and 180 courses. In 1993, it had 20,000 students, 300 courses, and 405 new graduates. In 2002, it had 36,710 students enrolled. Up to 2003, more than 13,000 people have graduated the university with a degree.

In 1996, the university also started a master's degree program.

Related Articles

External Links

pt:Universidade Aberta de Israel


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