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Higher Education in Israel: Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University is a public university located in the Ramat Aviv neighborhood of Tel Aviv. With nearly 30,000 students in 2013, Tel Aviv University is Israel's largest university.

Established in 1956 with the merger of three schools -  the Tel Aviv School of Law and Economics, the Institute of Natural Sciences, and the Institute of Jewish Studies - today Tel Aviv University is not only the largest university in Israel but also the biggest Jewish university in the world.

Its campus is located on approximately 220 acres in the Ramat Aviv section of Tel Aviv, the University boasts approximately 2,200 faculty members, over 100 departments and 90 research institutes, including the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies. Tel Aviv University offers numerous undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs, including in medicine, law, business administration, education, the arts, and the humanities.

In 2012, the Center for World University Rankings ranked Tel Aviv University 56th in the world and fourth in Israel in its world rankings. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2012 placed Tel Aviv University among the world's top 90 universities. 

In April 2015, Steve Tisch, director of movies such as “Forest Gump” and “The Equalizer,” donated $10 million to the film program at his alma mater. After visiting Tel Aviv University the previous year to judge the annual student film festival, Tisch fell in love all over again with the students' passion for film, stating that “these are filmmakers who really have a vision, and to me that’s exciting.” This generous gift will allow the school to purchase all new equipment to attract more international students and top faculty.

TAU Ventures, a venture-capital fund meant for pre-seeding student and alumni startups coming out of Tel Aviv University, was launched in April 2018.  Tel Aviv University was the first Israeli university to offer a venture capital fund, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev followed shortly after.  An estimated 25% of Israeli entrepreneurs are graduates of Tel Aviv University, and the university ranks ninth in the world for producing the most venture-capital backed entrepreneurs.  

Sources: Mitchell G Bard and Moshe Schwartz. 1001 Facts Everyone Should Know About Israel. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005;
Debra Kamin. “Steve Tisch's $10 million donation to Tel Aviv U. elevates school,” Variety (April 30, 2015);
Brian Blum.  Tel Aviv University launches VC fund for students, alumni, Israel21C, (April 22, 2018).