Milestones

1971
The Committee on Higher Education, appointed by the Council for Higher Education and headed by Prof. Shneior Lipson, recommended the establishment of an Open University in Israel along the lines of the Open University in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Max Rowe, Director of the Rothschild Foundation, initiated the establishment of an independent commission, headed by Prof. Wilbur Schramm of Stanford University, to examine the establishment of an Open University in Israel.

1972
On September 15th, the Schramm Commission recommended the establishment of the Open University.

1973
On August 19th, the Government of Israel decided to establish the Open University of Israel, following the recommendation of the Schramm Commission and the Rothschild Foundation. The Rothschild Foundation undertook the responsibility of establishing the Open University and its financing in the first years of development.
On October 2nd, the Council for Higher Education authorized the establishment of the Open University as an institution of higher learning.

1974
At the end of the year, the initial Open University team began its work.

1976
The first semester of studies began on October 17th.

1980
On June l8th, the Council for Higher Education authorized the Open University of Israel to confer Bachelor’s Degrees (BA), and the Government sanctioned this decision on July 6th.

1982
On September 6th, the Open University of Israel conferred Bachelor’s Degrees on its first graduates. At the University’s first graduation ceremony, 41 graduates received their degrees.

1984
On January 21st, the Government of Israel decided on the establishment of a School of Technology within the framework of the Open University in accordance with a proposal by the Rothschild Foundation. The Rothschild Foundation and the Barecha Foundation undertook the financing of the School’s activities in its first stages of development.

1987-1988
The Open University had close to 11,000 students taking about 180 courses in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science. Cooperation with colleges, seminars, technological and professional schools, the General Federation of Labor and large work places was greatly expanded, and about a third of the students studied within these frameworks. This pattern involved groups of students who took Open University courses leading to a BA. The teaching method combined the Open University’s written materials with intensive face-to-face tutorials given to groups of students in their college or workplace.

1993-1994
The number of students reached about 20,000 and close to 300 courses were offered. In May, 1994, 405 graduates received their BA degrees. To better serve the growing number of students, the university stepped up the development of new courses and innovative teaching methods, and began to integrate a variety of advanced technologies into its teaching programs: computer-mediated studies, studies via satellite, and cable TV broadcasts.

1994
The Publishing House of the Open University printed 411,000 course books (61 titles). These were intended for Open University students and the general public and were widely used by students and instructors in all Israeli universities. Several courses in Judaica were translated into Russian and English and adapted to the needs of distance teaching in the former Soviet Union and in English-speaking countries.

1996
The Open University was authorized by the Council for Higher Education to offer programs leading to a Master’s degree.

2001
The Open University was authorized by the Council for Higher Education to offer its first Engineering program – a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and Management.

2006
The number of students reached 40,000, and over 600 courses were offered in more than 50 study centers throughout the country.
The Dorothy de Rothschild Campus of The Open University of Israel is dedicated in Raanana, providing the infrastructure for continued growth and development.

2011
The total number of Open University alumni passed 30,000 – students have earned 31,000 Bachelor’s Degrees in 73 different areas and 2,000 Master’s Degrees in six different disciplines.

2012
More than 45,000 students are enrolled, and over 700 courses are offered. Course resources are made available on hand held mobile devices as well as in print and online.