University Students Pan Professors, Teaching Methods

A view of the Hebrew University campus in Yerushalayim. (Nati Shohat /Flash90)
A view of the Hebrew University campus in Yerushalayim. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

As university and college students were set to return to their studies Sunday morning, a new poll by the Israel Students Union indicates that their professors have a great deal to consider in their lessons. Students for the most part said that while the level of studies and information in courses was high, they were not receiving the tools needed to analyze and use what they were learning. As a result, many students felt they were wasting their time and taking classes just to fulfill their obligations and get a degree.

The results of the poll are based on data collated from 11,000 students, who attend the dozens of universities and colleges in Israel. Many students felt that their lecturers were merely passing along information in order to get a paycheck and were not concerned with the level of education their students were receiving and as a result did not invest themselves in their work. Among the most common complaint was that lecturers were in general “obsessively concerned with theoretical knowledge but not with practical tools needed” for career success.

The poll also rated the students’ opinion of the institutions of higher learning themselves and surprisingly, only one – the Open University – was rated in the top ten for the quality of study. Colleges, both private and public, rated generally higher in terms of education quality. The top institution was the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, a four-year college, while the worst rated was Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

Gilad Arditi, chairman of the student group, said that “it is not logical that the objective of these schools appears to be the distribution of diplomas suitable for hanging on the wall. The old saying that ‘a good researcher does not make for a good lecturer’ seems to still apply. We expect to be challenged and fairly treated as students, to have our sparks for the desire of knowledge lit and to be sent home with the tools needed for success.”