The new academic year opens next week, when tens of thousands of students will be arriving at the gates of academic institutions in Jerusalem and throughout the country.

In the 2020-21 academic year, about 40,100 students attended Jerusalem’s academic institutions. For the sake of comparison, the number of students who studied in Jerusalem in that year is only slightly lower than the number of residents in the Pisgat Zeev neighborhood (43,800), the second largest Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Of all students studying in the city, a large majority attended Hebrew University (54%), after which about one third attended the city’s academic colleges (34%); the remainder (12%) studied at academic teachers colleges.

Jerusalem attracts students from all over, with many young people throughout the country moving to the city for their academic studies. The data indicates that in the 2019-20 academic year, about 80% of Hebrew University students were non-Jerusalemites (based on where they attended high school), as were 63% of students at Jerusalem’s academic colleges. Among the academic colleges, the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance stand out in the degree to which they draw students who are not from Jerusalem (81%-85%).

Jerusalem is a leader in the number of students attending academic institutions in the ‘creative’ professions, primarily the arts, theatre, visual communication and design. In the 2019-20 academic year nearly half (44%) of all students in these fields in Israel studied at academic institutions in Jerusalem (about 2,500 students).

Students contribute greatly to the city’s character and development of its culture, urbanism, economy and society. In contrast to other groups in the city, students are not intensive consumers of services; only two services are critical for them – public transportation and the apartment rental market. Beyond these, they are consumers of culture and leisure services and play a great role in the city’s vibrancy – especially in the nightlife districts in the city center and in the adjoining neighborhoods of Nahlaot and Rehavia. 

(The data does are not include Open University students, the Jerusalem branch of the Ono Academic College and non-academic institutions in the city).