About American Friends of the Open University of Israel

American Friends of the Open University of Israel (AFOUI) is a national, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising awareness of the Open University of Israel and to providing financial support to help OUI achieve its mission of expanding access to higher education to all segments of Israeli society.

The Open University of Israel (OUI) is one of Israel’s most valuable assets — and a well-kept secret here in the United States. With its unique combination of cutting-edge distance learning methods, rigorous academic standards and an open admissions policy, OUI truly opens the world of higher learning to those who would otherwise be denied a college education.

46,000 students are currently studying at the OUI, more than at any of the other seven universities in Israel. OUI students include young adults who need to work fulltime, soldiers on active duty, gifted high school students, professionals seeking higher degrees, ultra-Orthodox Haredi men and women, as well as Druze, Christians, and Muslim Arabs.

The OUI offers more than 600 courses in accredited Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs. All are designed as self-directed study materials, with written texts supplemented by advanced technologies, including interactive websites for all courses. This makes it possible for students to study anytime, anywhere and enables OUI to serve the full range of the Israeli population.

American Friends of the Open University of Israel has provided more than $20 million in grants to the OUI for student scholarships and textbooks, faculty recruitment and retention, pioneering new course material for emerging and special needs populations, libraries and student services, and development of new distance-learning methodologies.