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The Economics Of Higher Education (EHE)

Over the past year, a broad research activity took place on the topic of "The Economics of Higher Education: Towards the redesign of the 'Israeli Model'" (in short, EHE), in collaboration with Forum Sapir. The higher education system in Israel is undergoing a profound crisis, which calls for a swift revision of the basic premises upon which it has functioned over the past half century. Unfortunately, there is little expertise in Israel on the economics of higher education, and hence the current public debate on how to design a viable model is ill-informed and poorly argued. To fill this void, the S. Neaman Institute initiated the EHE Program, which addresses the need for research in this critical area. The following are research projects supported by the EHE Program:

 During the 2005-2006 academic year, we held seven meetings where the projects were presented and discussed, and their findings presented. Special lecturers were also invited to make presentations, including:

  • Shlomo Herskovic, Deputy Director General for Planning and Information, Planning and Budgeting Committee, Council for Higher Education: "Planning and outputs in higher education: the case of Ph.D. studies in Israel".
  • Nissan Limor, "An Overview of the Higher Education System in the UK"

Several of the projects have already led to publications, including: "The quality of Israeli academic institutions: what the wages of graduates tell about it?" Tom Caplan, Orly Furman, Dmitiri Romanov, Noam Zussman, 2006. This paper was presented to the "Shochat Committee" for Higher Education Reform, and provided it with critical data for its deliberations.

 In November 2006, the Israeli government appointed a public committee, led by former Finance Minister Beiga Shochat, to recommend reform for the higher education system in Israel. Among those appointed to the committee were Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg and Prof. Reuven Grunau, both of whom were active in the EHE Program. The extensive work already conducted by the EHE, through Professors Trajtenberg and Grunau, had a significant impact on the work of the committee.