There are 6 major academic & professional institutions providing higher education in Be’er-Sheva to about 30,000 students: the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU founded 1969, ca.20,000 students) – http://www.bgu.ac.il; Sami Shamoon College of Engineering (SCE founded 1997, ca.3,600 students) – http://www.sce.ac.il; the ORT Technological College of Be’er-Sheva (TCB founded 2007, ca.920) – http://www.tcb.ac.il; the Kaye (Regional) Academic College of Education (founded 1954, ca.3,000 students) – http://www.kaye.ac.il; the Open University – 08-6277777; and the Israeli Airforce [Cadets’] Technological College (founded 1976) – http://techni-bs.iscool.co.il.
The BGU Marcus Family Campus has been voted both the most beautiful and the friendliest campus in Israel a number of times in the annual student polls, thanks to its unique desert-oasis landscaping/gardening (essentially creating a man-made micro-oasis inside the natural Be’er-Sheva macro-oasis and following in the biblical tradition of hospitality established by Abraham the Patriarch.) The BGU Campus is a microcosm with an international academic community and a constant stream of visitors and migrating birds from the world-over. Not to mention (as I do just that) the large number of unique raw-concrete buildings in the “brutalist” style–such as the prize-winning Senate building that lacks 45-degree angles and has a mini-U.N.-style, round, wooden Senate/Conference Hall.
In 2014, the BGU Campus was internationally recognized as a “green campus” rated no. 24 (among 362 “green” universities around the world) by UI GreenMetric. BGU has a dedicated Green Council. For example, BGU offices use both sides of each leaf of paper before recycling it; climate-appropriate grass & gardens that are not watered midday; lighting that is mostly energy-conserving LED; and accessible recycling bins. BGU offers a B.Sc. in Environmental Studies and a M.Sc. in Energy Engineering, as well as many other “green” courses. Some student eco-activists also belong to the Be’er-Sheva “Green Trend” Cell (founded 1997).
The University Campus is like a city within a city with the basic facilities provided on campus, such as: cafes & restaurants, a bank, a post office, some stores, 2 medical clinics (Kelalit & Maccabi), a campus synagogue & the sports center. Also BGU has a student dance troupe “Pola,“ an orchestra & a choir, as well as many nearby student cafes, pubs, nightspots & movie theaters, in addition to special discounts for cultural events & student parties, an informative & entertaining campus magazine, academic-singles groups, a student employment center “Sha’al” (in the Student Union building) and more. The BGU Hillel House is the center for Jewish life on campus – http://www.HillelBGU.org.il.
BGU offers a special mentoring program for women students and post-doctoral researchers in which senior women academicians provide guidance and support to women trying to succeed in academia: Contact Prof. Vered Slonim-Nevo, 08-6472320 or the BGU Women’s Forum – 08-6472326. P.S. In 2020, there are ca.490 women Bedouin students studying at BGU (70% of the ca. 700 Bedouin students currently enrolled).
Every year, thousands of BGU and SCE students volunteer to help special children succeed in their studies and lives, pupils who are: physically or mentally disabled, dyslexic or slow learners, or from high-risk homes, as part of an Israeli “Big Brother”-style program called the “Perah Project” and the “Open Apartments Project.” In compensation for their efforts, these students are awarded either a partial scholarship or 4 academic credits.
The University and, in its wake, the leading colleges in Be’er-Sheva offer a very popular accredited course called “Meet the Orchestra” (a music appreciation course that sends students to attend monthly “Sinfonietta” concerts), the registration for which closes within minutes of its being opened, despite the 800 seats available in the concert hall.
The Be’er-Sheva Jewish House welcomes all students looking for home hospitality, Sabbath meals, communal prayers, classes and events — No’am & Re’ut Karov 052-8618482, http://www.betkarov.org.il.
An “Ayalim” Bohemian student ‘village’ (established 2009) – a residential community and social & cultural center is located at 33 he-Haluts St. and has successfully restored the Old City’s vitality and night-life, thus encouraging more students to seek the subsidized housing there – – 054-204-1405.
People considering coming to live and study in Israel can get information and assistance from the Israel Ministry of Aliyah & Immigrant Absorption, Israel Student Authority:
• For information and advice on study options in Israel
• To check your eligibility for our assistance
• To have your documents evaluated in Israel
• To help you choose the best absorption program to suit you
• To register for a summer Hebrew language course (ulpan)
English speakers: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 02-6214589.
French speakers: email@example.com or tel. 02-6214582.
Spanish speakers: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 02-6214605.
Russian speakers: email@example.com or tel. 02-6214619.
In 2019, some Be’er–Sheva resident students formed an NPO named “Mabruk” (lit., congratulations on something new) that helps economically-challenged fiancees have a nice wedding. https://www.facebook.com/mabrooc.project/videos/759905427532195/ & https://www.b7net.co.il/קהילה/285152/3