The ceremony was held today in Jerusalem in the presence of the President of the State of Israel Reuven Ruvi Rivlin; Minister of Education Naftali Bennett and presidents of the leading academic institutions across Israel.
Prof. Uriel Reichman, President and Founder of IDC Herzliya, received today the Council for Higher Education award for his extensive and significant contribution to the advancement of higher education in Israel. The award was given to Prof. Reichman by the Minister of Education and Chairman of the Council for Higher Education Mr. Naftali Bennet, in the presence of the President of the State of Israel Mr. Reuven Rivlin. The event was held in Jerusalem and attended by presidents and directors of the leading academic institutions in Israel.
Following is the Council for Higher Education's account of Prof. Reichman's contribution:
"Prof. Reichman served as a faculty member at the Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University, and from 1985 to 1990 he served as its Dean. He spent time as a visiting professor at American and German universities, and his scientific publications deal with property law. He initiated and led the team that formulated a proposal for an Israeli constitution and chaired the Movement for a Constitution in Israel, leading the campaign to have the proposed constitution accepted and implemented. This activity contributed to the development of constitutional law in Israel and to the legislation of basic laws.
Now on its 60th anniversary, the Israeli higher education system celebrates the accessibility of higher education in Israel. Prof. Reichman took part in the change that led to the rise of colleges in Israel. As a pioneer who founded an academic institution which is not supported by the government, his actions enabled the academic system to develop, creating an additional model of non-subsidized institutions alongside the subsidized colleges. He therefore paved the way in Israel for the development of higher education that is not dependent on public funding. Following his initiative, additional institutions were founded. There is no doubt that he is the mentor who influenced the entire system, and the implications of his actions will surely influence its development in the future.
Prof. Reichman established his institution with an impressive academic vision that facilitated, over 25 years ago, interdisciplinary studies, which were not common yet in Israeli academia and thus affected the academic discourse, research and teaching throughout the entire higher education system in Israel.
Today, the Interdisciplinary Center, headed by Prof. Reichman, is a vibrant campus focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship, in which over 7,000 students from Israel and abroad study in its 10 schools.
IDC's Raphael Recanati International School, established according to Prof. Reichman's vision, is especially notable. Every year hundreds of students come to the International School from dozens of countries from around the world to study in English. The uniqueness of this school stems from the combination of academic excellence, Zionist values and an endeavor to deepen the connection between Israel and the Diaspora. Today about 2,000 students from 86 countries study in the International School, and it has become an important center for Aliyah and integration. About two thirds of its alumni remain in Israel, and many of them serve in the army. The International School is another pioneering enterprise of Prof. Reichman which can serve as a model for other institutions of higher education in Israel in its encouragement of internationality."
President Reuven Rivlin addressed Prof. Reichman at the conference and said: "I congratulate you, my friend, for your innovative academic vision that became your life's work and for your contribution to the entire academic system".