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In a visit to the Jerusalem College of Technology’s Tal Campus, MK Michal Woldiger praises the school amid the backdrop of academic institutions that have engaged in divisive politics.

August 2023

There’s a dearth of freedom of speech in academic institutions, Deputy Finance Minister Michal Woldiger (Religious Zionism) asserted during a visit to the Jerusalem College of Technology’s (JCT) Tal Campus for women last week.

“Unfortunately, as of late, we’re seeing less freedom of speech, and it’s impossible for people to share their honest opinions in many academic institutions,” MK Woldiger of the Religious Zionist Party said. “However, here at the Jerusalem College of Technology, democracy exists, and everyone is free to respectfully express themselves equally.”

“This is the way of the Torah, and this is also the philosophy of JCT as an institution that combines holy and secular studies and excels at doing both. I’m thrilled to see so many young women come to study at an institution that prioritizes uncompromising professionalism together with studying sacred texts.”

Woldiger’s remarks come amid Israeli academia’s opposition to judicial reforms. Many Israeli colleges and universities issued a joint statement warning that should the judicial reforms pass, they will negatively impact Israel’s higher education.

Last week, thousands of female students kicked off the academic year at JCT’s Tal Campus for women. Currently, the Tal Campus accommodates more than 2,100 women. The school recently broke ground on the campus’ new location which is slated for completion in 2025. The new campus will be the permanent home of academic excellence for up to 5,000 female students in nursing, computer science, industrial engineering, accounting, and management. 

According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2022, women represented only 28% of employees with core technological jobs in the hi-tech workforce. Per the Israel Innovation Authority, last year, nationally, women comprised only 30% of all students studying tech-related courses. At JCT, over half (53%) of the students studying computer science are women.

Although most higher education institutions in Israel begin the year in the middle of October, the Jerusalem College of Technology began its studies - as they do every year - in the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul.

"Many high-tech professions are perceived as largely dominated by men. JCT is the only academic institution in Israel shattering the glass ceiling by training women in high-tech professions," noted Etti Stern, Head of the Tal Campus, "I am deeply pleased to inaugurate another academic year. I wish our new students great success. They will join thousands of our graduates who have gone on to obtain significant and high-earning roles in Israel’s hi-tech scene.”

Over 90% of JCT’s alumni are employed in their field within a year of graduation. JCT graduates enter the workforce in leading firms such as Intel, Google, Microsoft, Amdocs, Rafael, Elbit, Check Point, Texas Instruments, and IBM.

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