30,000 students will be studying at TAU in 2013-4
In the 2013-4 academic year TAU continues to be the largest and most sought-after university in Israel
Tel Aviv University maintains its status as the largest and most sought-after research university in Israel: some 30,000 students will be studying in the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate courses, diploma studies, international programs and special programs in the 2013-4 academic year. This is similar to the number of students last year.
Tel Aviv University President Joseph Klafter pointed out with satisfaction that this year 57 outstanding new faculty members have been taken on, many of them returning from post-doctoral studies abroad. "These excellent staff members are joining the 150 new researchers that have been recruited over the past three years." Prof. Klafter said that Tel Aviv University was offering interdisciplinary courses in a wide range of subjects, enabling students to combine fields of knowledge from complementary spheres. This year the university has also started offering online courses in the framework of Coursera, and for the first time in Israel, students will be able to gain full academic credits for these courses.
Computer Science has greatest demand; Social Sciences is the largest faculty
Some 8,000 new students will be starting their studies, 4,700 of whom are undergraduate students, and 3,300 graduate students. 54% of the undergraduate students are women.
The undergraduate programs that are most in demand are computer science, with 1,630 registrants, and biology, with 1,360 students enrolled. These are followed by electrical engineering, economics, law, and the six-year medical degree program.
The Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences is the largest faculty. In the coming academic year, more than 4,000 students will be studying in this faculty.
A double bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and marine biotechnology (in collaboration with Ruppin College): As part of the new Center for Mediterranean Studies, a unique and challenging program is being launched giving theoretical understanding and practical training in the responsible harvesting and conservation of the Mediterranean. The program combines a solid grounding in the field of classical mechanical engineering together with Mediterranean Sea sciences, while at the same time providing expertise and skills in the field of marine biotechnology. Graduates will be awarded two separate full degrees.
Labor studies: For the first time in Israel, TAU is opening an undergraduate program in labor studies, a field which until now has only been taught on the graduate level. Students will gain a broad and thorough understanding of the working world, including labor markets, approaches to employee management, organizational processes, labor law, and the place of work in the political dialogue, the humanities and history. The program will enable them, on completion of their studies, to work in the fields of human resource management in the business and public sectors, in organizational development and change, and in labor organizations and civil society.
The Sagol School of Neuroscience is adding two new study programs:
Psychology and computer science with a stress on brain sciences – intended for outstanding students who are interested in how the brain processes information at the cognitive and behavioral level, based on a dual-major study program in psychology and computer science combined with designated courses in brain sciences. The program incorporates mathematical and computational tools from computer science to model the brain's information processing, a field of research that is currently at the forefront of brain studies.
Biomedical engineering and biology with a stress on brain sciences – intended for outstanding students interested in life sciences and the study of the brain, with an inclination toward engineering, technology and exact sciences (mathematics, physics, computer science). The aim of the program is to produce graduates who incorporate mathematical and engineering tools to understand how the brain works.
Digital communication: The Department of Communication is adding offerings on digital communication to its MA degree program, in collaboration with the Orange Institute of Internet Studies at Tel Aviv University. Topics include network technologies, language in the digital age, search engines, on-line journalism, data mining, developing digital formats, social marketing through digital channels, and the history of the Internet. The program includes workshops, seminars and conferences, with the participation of experts from Israel and around the world on the subject of the Internet.
New special programs
Coursera: At the beginning of October the first two online courses given by the university in collaboration with Coursera were launched, and in the second semester they will be joined by a third course. To date, some 50,000 students from around the world have registered for the first two courses, "The rise and fall of Jerusalem" and "What do plants know?" In addition, hundreds of the university's students are participating in a unique pilot that enables them to take these courses as part of their degree studies (recognized for academic credit).
Cyber studies: Tel Aviv University has introduced, for the first time in Israel, interdisciplinary study tracks focused on a variety of aspects of the cyber world. Students from fields as diverse as Law, Engineering and Humanities will be able to integrate course clusters on cyber security and other issues into their study programs. The first track is focused on science and technology and will include internships in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology in Industrial Engineering. The second track will be more general and will be offered as part of the curriculum for undergraduates in Humanities, Social Sciences and Law.
Complementary Studies program: Last year the University launched a unique program exposing students to different fields of study and research outside their main area of study. In light of the success of last year's program, this year 25 new courses will be added, to make a total of 50. The mandatory program integrates elective courses in life sciences, medicine, engineering and exact sciences into curricula at the faculties of the humanities, social sciences, management, law and the arts, and vice-versa.
Europe studies: This new program is intended for third-year BA students and people with degrees in the social sciences, humanities, law, management and arts. The program lasts one year, and is taught in English by top experts from Israel and Europe. Outstanding graduates of the program will be able to go on to graduate studies at Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Pioneer program for mainstreaming austistic children: For the first time in Israel, and possibly in the world, TAU's Jaime and Joan Constantiner School of Education has introduced a two-year postgraduate program for preparing specialists in the area of educational inclusion of children with autistic spectrum disorder into the regular educational system. The graduates of this program will become professionals (i.e., "inclusion coordinators") who will be responsible for designing inclusion programs, presenting them to the families, school principals and classroom teachers, and supervising the paraprofessional aides who work directly with ASD children in the classroom. Participants must have academic degrees either in education or in clinical and rehabilitation fields, and also have previous teaching or clinical experience in the area of autism. The syllabus consists of lectures and practical training in neurobiology, psychopathology, ASD diagnosis, intervention methods, cognitive, social and emotional development, language and communication impairments and educational inclusion.
Two new international programs
Law for an international student body: TAU's International LLM is a new, one-year master’s program for English-speaking students from around the globe. A wide selection of courses will be taught by internationally-renowned professors with innovative approaches to legal theory. Topics will range from contemporary legal challenges stemming from globalization, to Israeli legal and social systems, the complexities of the Middle East region, and legal aspects of the “start-up nation.” Students will choose one of three specialization tracks: "Law, Global Governance and Human Rights"; "Law, State and Religion"; and "Law and Technology." In addition, they will take part in courses and seminars open to Israeli law students, affording interaction that will enrich both groups. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to apply for PhD studies at the Buchmann Faculty of Law.
New international MA in Israel Studies: The Jewish History Department is opening a new international MA program in Israel Studies. The one-year program will focus on Jewish and Zionist history, as well as on Israel’s current political, economic and security challenges against the backdrop of complex geopolitical realities. The program will also include visits to relevant sites around the country, meetings with leading figures in Israeli society and intensive Hebrew language studies.
Welcoming the student
The Ruth and Allen Ziegler Student Services Division offers students a range of services aimed at helping them in their studies, from advice on choosing a field of study and diagnosis of learning disabilities, through the provision of scholarships, financial aid, student housing, psychological services and career counseling.
As part of the ongoing effort to improve services, a call center has been set up to answer any questions that students may have. Trained telephone operators will receive enquiries from students and deal with them immediately, within no more than a single working day. Calls requiring further attention will be passed on to the section heads in the Ziegler Division.
Expanding the "Marching Together" project
The Ruth and Allen Ziegler Student Services Division will be running the Marching Together project for the third year. As part of this project, second and third year undergraduate students mentor first year students and help them acclimatize on campus. Following the success of previous years, the project will be expanded to include mentors at the departments of psychology, sociology, East Asian studies, Middle East and Africa studies, mechanical engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, geophysics and computer science.