The Council for Higher Education on Tuesday approved turning the Shalem Center, a research and educational institution in Jerusalem, into an academic institution.
Starting in the upcoming academic year, the institution will award Bachelor's degrees in the liberal arts, in one of two programs: Interdisciplinary Program of Philosophy and Jewish Thought or Middle East and Islamic Studies.
The Shalem Center was established in 1994. In March 2009, the center submitted a proposal to the Israel Council for Higher Education to establish Israel’s first liberal arts college. The Council for Higher Education's chairman appointed a committee to examine the academic management of the institution, the quality of instruction, the course of study and additional criteria. The center successfully met all the requirements.
Shalem College will be headed by Professor Martin Kramer, who is currently a senior fellow at the Shalem Center. The degree will take four years, with the first year devoted entirely to a Great Books curriculum.
"The accreditation is another stage in the rehabilitation of the humanities within our higher education system," said Education Minister and council head Gideon Sa'ar (Likud).