(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Samaria-based Ariel University is due to present detailed plans for a new medical school to the Council for Higher Education (CHE) in Israel. The school “will contribute enormously to the doctor shortage crisis” in the Jewish state, said Ariel University Chancellor Yigal Cohen-Orgad.
About 4,000 students are currently studying at Israel’s five medical schools, at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and Bar-Ilan University’s Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee. Nevertheless, the country is still grappling with a shortage of trained doctors.
Once the Ariel University medical program is established, it is projected to increase the number of medical students who graduate each year in Israel from the current figure of 760 to 900 by 2020.
This week, the CHE’s Planning and Budgeting Committee decided that the university would submit a detailed plan for its medical school, slated to be housed in the new Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson Health Sciences and Medicine Building, whose cornerstone was laid in June.
The university wants to establish a four-year medical graduate degree program, in contrast to the other seven-year medical degrees in Israel, which include the standard pre-med curriculum. The Ariel program would be open to students who have completed bachelor’s degrees in other relevant fields. Each medical class is projected to include approximately 70 students.
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett has been a major proponent of the new medical school.
“Ariel University is on the map. I welcome the approval given to open this important institution. Establishing a faculty of medicine will propel the university to new heights,” said Bennett.