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University

Background & History

The campus of the University of Haifa spreads along a Carmel Mountain ridge southeast of the city of Haifa and is surrounded by the Carmel National Park. The University was established in 1963 under the joint auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Haifa Municipality. In 1972, it gained academic accreditation as a separate institution from the Council for Higher Education.

The University of Haifa is the most pluralistic institution of higher education in Israel: sons and daughters of both veteran cities and development towns, kibbutzim and moshavim, new immigrants, Jews, Arabs, and Druzes, IDF officers and security personnel—all sitting together on the bench of knowledge in an atmosphere of coexistence, tolerance, and mutual respect.

The University considers the link between academic excellence and social responsibility as its flagship, and service to the community as one of its important goals.

Some 17,000 students are studying toward a degree (B.A., M.A., or Ph.D.) in 2008/09. The University offers six Faculties: Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences and Science Education, Law, Social Welfare and Health Studies, and Education; and five Schools: Business Administration, Social Work, History, Public Health, and Political Sciences.

Research is concentrated in centers and institutes on a wide variety of subjects and fields. Among them: study of psychological stress, information processing and decision-making, evolution, the Holocaust; maritime studies, natural and environmental resources, shipping and aviation, the family. Research facilities include The Jewish-Arab Center, Herzl Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel, Study of Crime, Law, and Society, Study of Pilgrimage, Tourism and Recreation; Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Emotions; International Brain and Behavior Research Center; Center for Democratic Studies; Center for Law and Technology; Center for Research of Education for Peace; Center for National Security Studies and Geostrategy. IBM put up its largest research center outside the United States on the University campus.

The University of Haifa's involvement in the community is manifested in various ways.

Along with developing academic excellence, the University assists many students to gain a higher education by means of Pre-Academic Unit. It aids many students to overcome economic obstacles through its Social Involvement Unit. The Continuing Education and External Studies Unit offers special curricula for managers in different fields and for a range of professionals, and enables some 5,000 "students" to take advanced training courses.

The Library of the University is a centralized facility serving the needs of its instructors, students, and administrative employees. Most of its holdings, numbering some two million book and non-book items, are on open shelves and freely accessible. Special collections include reserves, law, rare books, shipping, and art. The University devotes great attention to the arts and cultivates such collections. On campus, there are art galleries, murals by well-known Israeli artists, and impressive sculpture.

The University new Arts Center building, the academic center for the study of the arts, designed by the noted architect Haim Kehat, occupies an area of 3,500 sq. meters over four stories. The curricula here are based on cooperation, theory, and joint and parallel creativity among the departments offering three fields of art studies: art, theater, and music. Work space in the center was planned specifically to provide students with optimal working conditions and to fulfill the special programs of study in these fields. Workshops, studios, and classrooms are all state of the art. The Arts Center was constructed with the aid of a donation from the Hecht Foundations and will be named for the late Dr. Reuven Hecht

The Hecht Museum at the University of Haifa was the first in Israel to be located on a university campus. Its Archeological Wing displays finds from the Hecht Collection, as well as thematic exhibits: ancient industries and crafts; Phoenicians on the northern coast of Israel in the Biblical period. The Museum's Ancient Ship Wing, devoted to the 2400-year-old vessel uncovered from off the coast of Kibbutz Maagan Mikhael, exhibits the hull of the ancient craft, an anchor, and some of its cargo. The Art Wing contains the Hecht Collection, which includes among others French Impressionist paintings and works from the Jewish School of Paris.