Israel’s Council for Higher Education has decided to bar foreign students from studying in Israeli medical schools. This move comes due to insufficient slots in local medical schools for Israeli students. Foreign students seeking to study in Israeli medical schools have contacted Chaim V’Chessed decrying the new decree.

Last week, Chaim V’Chessed CEO, Rabbi Paysach Freedman, sent a sharply worded missive to Education Minister Dr. Yifat Shasha-Biton protesting the new ruling. In his letter, Freedman avers that, in Chaim V’Chessed’s experience, “there are generally two outcomes from foreign students attending Israeli medical schools: Many subsequently make aliyah and become outstanding contributors to Israeli society. Others return to their home countries as Israeli trained physicians and provide exemplary, Israeli-learned medical service in locations around the world.”  

A similar letter was sent to Prof. Edit Tshuva, vice-chair of the Council for Higher Education.  The letter concludes that “this move is a slap in the face of Jewish communities around the world, who send many of their best and brightest to study in Israel.” It also goes without saying that overseas donors are the most prominent contributors to Israeli universities.

Additionally, it should be noted that foreign students in medical schools actually pay as much as fourteen times the tuition of an Israeli student. Hence, in addition to the ideological value, foreign students are most lucrative for Israeli medical schools. In essence, each foreign student pays for another thirteen Israeli students. Should foreigners be barred, Israeli universities will face a serious deficit. ... Read More: Chaim V'Chessed