The Open University of Israel was founded in 1974 and the studies began in the autumn of 1976. The University's main mission is to make higher education accessible, as much as possible, to wide populations in the center and in the periphery, through an open admission (without prerequisite admission requirements) and the maximum flexibility of planning and organizing the curriculum while maintaining its high level.
Approximately 47, 000 students register yearly to a diversity of the University's undergraduate and master's degree programs in Humanities and Social Sciences, in Natural and Life Sciences and in Exact Sciences.
The specificity of the Open University comes to expression in a range of learning methods - face-to-face instruction in small groups in 60 study centers throughout the country, learning through interactive and self-learning systems that enable students to have maximum flexibility in their studies, their school time, and their pace. The unique approach of the Open University incorporates striving for high academic quality and scientific excellence with organizational flexibility, innovation in teaching methods, and maximum openness to all those who wish to learn in this framework.
Throughout the academic period, students have at their disposal a system of counseling and guidance for academic studies and assistance to students with learning disabilities or special needs, workshops and personal trainings to improve learning skills and a financial aid system through scholarships.
The Open University is based on two pillars: the acquisition of thorough academic education to its students and the promotion of academic excellence of its faculty members.
In the core of the Open University academic activities is the process of elaborating the courses. Most of the courses are based on books and textual, printed, and digital learning materials. The Open University textbooks are used as an infrastructure for courses learned in most institutions of higher education in Israel. In addition to the printed materials, the range of the study materials offered in additional formats increases year after year: photographed courses in video, software and interactive resources. All of the materials, both textual and visual, find their place in the renewed courses sites, are modified and provided to the students in a variety of methods enabling them interesting and effective self-learning, including optimal suitability for mobile devices and compliance with digital accessibility regulations.
The Open University is one of the leading bodies in Israel for the development of online courses (MOOC) uploaded to the National campus platform and to the international Open-Edx platform, which allow for the general public education. The development of end-to-end courses is done through Online Academy Inc., a subsidiary of the Open University, with the cooperation of the Shoham Center, which specializes in the development and implementation of online pedagogical solutions learning resources.