The Council for Higher Education in Israel (CHE) this week officially launched the national initiative “Study in Israel” to double the number of international students enrolled in Israeli colleges and universities, initially targeting students in North America, China and India.

As many as 12,000 international students are currently studying in Israel.

The program touts dozens of short-term and longer study programs associated with high Israeli academic standards and an engaged approach to education with the theme “Engage in Excellence,” highlighting the country’s innovative academic and research landscape as part of the startup nation.

Recently, four Israeli universities were ranked among the top 50 undergraduate programs globally that produce the most venture capital-backed entrepreneurs, according to the latest ranking by PitchBook.

“We have committed to making Israel a ‘brain gain’ country for students and researchers from around the world—North and South America, Europe and Asia,” said Professor Yaffa Zilbershats, chair of the CHE’s Planning and Budgeting Committee. “With this new campaign, Israel is now more attractive than ever; we’re looking forward to bringing many more students from around the globe in years to come.”

Meanwhile, the CHE also recently authorized 26 new international-degree programs in a range of fields Israel is globally recognized, including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), innovation and entrepreneurship, Jewish studies, Middle Eastern studies, agriculture, urban studies, environmental studies and design.

The council has also earmarked funding to its public higher-education institutions to bolster marketing and recruitment efforts, create new courses in English and develop international-student services.

It also finances and manages a number of fellowship programs for international students and post-doctorate researchers.

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