Some of Israel's colleges are experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of students registering this year while university enrolments have fallen 1.3 per cent, according to the country's chief statistician, writes Helena Flusfeder.
Winners include academic colleges, teacher-training colleges and other non-academic colleges, either funded by the Ministry of Education or privately run.
At the Lifschitz College for Education in Jerusalem, a religious teacher-training college, the number of new students was triple that of last year, according to David Koren, the college's pedagogic co-ordinator.
Dr Koren attributed the increase to the college's tuition fees, which are lower than those at most universities, and to its teaching environment, which is not research-led, as most universities are.
Against the trend of declining student enrolments in universities, the number of applications at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have risen by 15 per cent over last year, according to its rector, Haim Rabinowitch.
"We are limited as to the number we can take in each year to 19,171 students, including undergraduate and masters students, but not including PhDs.
"In a democratic state, everyone is entitled to get higher education, but not everyone is qualified - people can get a better education [than before] in programming, economics and business studies at the colleges," Professor Rabinowitch said.