Higher education between government policy and free market forces: The case of Israel

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In recent years Israel’s system of higher education has undergone a revolutionary transformation, leading to a sharp rise in the number of students, establishment of new degree-granting institutions, and shifts in legislation and policy. All these have changed dramatically, arousing profound public debates centering on one major issue: how to reconcile academic freedom, as manifested in a free academic “market”, with the regulation of higher education. Th is study explores three main processes that occurred within Israel’s higher education system since the reform in the early 1990s and attempts to identify their causes. Th e research fi ndings show that it was the government’s decision to carry out a reform, rather than free market forces that led to the considerable rise in the number of applicants for academic studies. However, free market sources were found to affect admission terms to the various departments, guided by trends of demand and supply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-274
Number of pages17
JournalEconomics and Sociology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 9 Jul 2015


  • Free market forces
  • Higher Education
  • Israel
  • Public Policy
  • Regulation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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