Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Eilat, Israel | CruiseBe
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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU, Hebrew: אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב‎, Universitat Ben Gurion Banegev, Arabic: جامعة بن غوريون‎) is a public research university in Beersheba, Israel. Ben Gurion University of the Negev has five campuses: the Marcus Family Campus, Beersheba; the David Bergmann Campus, Beersheba; the David Tuviyahu Campus, Beersheba; Sede Boqer Campus and Eilat Campus.


Ben Gurion University was established in 1969 as the University of the Negev with the aim of promoting the development of the Negev desert that comprises more than sixty percent of Israel. The University was later renamed after Israel's founder and first prime minister David Ben-Gurion, who believed that the future of the country lay in this region. After Ben-Gurion's death in 1973, the University was renamed Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Today, Ben-Gurion University is a center for teaching and research with about 20,000 students. Some of its research institutes include the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research with the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies, and the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism.

Faculties, schools and research institutes

Ben-Gurion University has five faculties with 51 academic departments and units: Faculty of Engineering Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management.

Ben-Gurion University has six schools: The Kreitman School of Advanced Graduate Studies, the Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School, the Leon and Mathilde Recanati School for Community Health Professions, the School of Pharmacy, the School for Medical Laboratory Sciences and the School of Continuing Medical Education.

Ben-Gurion University has eight research institutes including: The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, and Heksherim – The Research Institute for Jewish and Israeli Literature and Culture.

Medical School

The Medical School for International Health grew out of collaborations between faculty at Ben-Gurion University and Columbia University.

In 1978 Prof. Alfred Inselberg, then with the Faculty of Mathematics, together with Dr. Sam Bergman and Dr. Avraham Melkman initiated the Computer Science program which by 1982 had attracted more than 200 students. Notably, this was the first university program in Israel where students were taught Pascal, used terminals rather than punch-card machines and where the first Computer Graphics Laboratory in Israel was established. This was the genesis of Computer Science education at Ben-Gurion University which eventually lead to a separate Department of Computer Science.

A joint global health and medical care program was established in 1997.

The Medical School for International Health is a four-year, North American-style medical school that incorporates global health coursework into all four years of the medical school curriculum. It is an English-language collaboration between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Faculty of Health Sciences and Columbia University Medical Center located in Beersheba, Israel. Established in 1996, the school enrolls more than 40 students per year. Most of the students are from the United States, with several from Canada and other countries.

Interdisciplinary research centers

There are sixty one interdisciplinary research centers at Ben-Gurion University including: the S. Daniel Abraham International Center for Health and Nutrition, the Robert H. Arnow Center for Bedouin Studies and Development, the Ben-Gurion National Solar Energy Center, the Goldstein-Goren-International Center for Jewish Thought,the Esther and Sidney Rabb Center for Holocaust and Redemption Studies, the Edmond J. Safra Center for the Design and Engineering of Functional Biopolymers, the Reimund Stadler Minerva Center for Mesoscale Macromolecular Engineering and the Zlotowski Center for Neurosciences.

International programs

Ten international programs are available at Ben-Gurion University including: the Albert Katz International School of Desert Studies, the Medical School for International Health, the Ginsburg-Ingerman Overseas Student Program, the Israel Studies International Program, the Master of Arts Program in Middle East Studies and the Honors MBA Program.

Notable faculty members

  • Aaron Antonovsky, sociologist
  • Aharon Appelfeld, author
  • Haim Be'er, author
  • Jacob Bekenstein, theoretical physicist
  • Ilana Krausman Ben-Amos, historian
  • Gerald Blidstein, Jewish Thought and History – Israel Prize Recipient
  • Dan Blumberg, geographer
  • Rivka Carmi, pediatrician
  • Miriam Cohen, mathematician
  • Shlomi Dolev, computer scientist
  • David Faiman, solar engineer
  • Yisrael Friedman, historian
  • Tikva Frymer-Kensky, biblical scholar
  • Neve Gordon, political scientist
  • Yitzhak Hen, historian
  • Samuel Hollander, economist
  • Klara Kedem, computer scientist
  • Etgar Keret, author
  • Howard Kreisel, philosopher
  • Shaul Ladany, industrial engineering
  • Michael Lin, mathematician
  • Dan Meyerstein, chemist
  • Benny Morris, historian
  • David Newman, political geographer
  • Amos Oz, author
  • Renee Poznanski, political scientist and historian of the Holocaust in France
  • Joshua Prawer, historian
  • Elisha Qimron, Hebrew scholar
  • Aviad Raz, sociologist
  • Danny Rubinstein, journalist
  • Alice Shalvi, educator
  • Richard Shusterman, philosopher
  • Daniel Sivan, Hebrew Literature Prof.
  • Carsten Peter Thiede, biblical scholar
  • Jacob Turkel, Israeli Supreme Court Justice
  • Oren Yiftachel, geographer
  • Avishai Henik, psychologist

Notable alumni

  • Isaac Berzin (born 1967), chemical engineer who founded GreenFuel Technologies Corporation
  • Charles Blattberg, professor of political philosophy at the Université de Montréal
  • Gilad Bracha
  • Amira Dotan (born 1947), an Israeli military figure and a former member of Knesset for Kadima
  • Dovi Frances, entrepreneur and investor
  • Gila Gamliel (born 1974), member of the Knesset for Likud and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office
  • Anastasia Gloushkov (born 1985), Olympic synchronized swimmer
  • Arieh Iserles (born 1947), computational mathematician, Professor of the Numerical Analysis of Differential Equations at the University of Cambridge
  • Ofer Lahav (born 1959), Perren Chair of Astronomy and Head of Astrophysics at University College London
  • Silvan Shalom (born 1958), an Israeli politician, member of the Knesset from the Likud party and the country's senior Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development and the development of the Negev and the Galilee. He previously served as the country's Foreign Minister, Finance Minister, minister of science and deputy defense minister
  • Eliezer Shkedi (born 1957), CEO of the Israeli national airline, El Al. Prior to that he was a general (aluf) in the Israel Defense Forces and a Commander in Chief of the Israeli Air Force
  • Yaakov Turner
  • Mordechai Vanunu
  • Shelly Yachimovich (born 1960), a member of the Knesset, former leader of the Israeli Labor Party
  • Michael W. Sonnenfeldt (born 1955), Owner and Chairman of TIGER 21, Chairman of Magnolia Purchasing Advisors, the lead owner and Chairman of SOL, Inc., and Chairman of Carmanah Technologies, Ltd.

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