"You don’t need a master plan to make a university. What you need is a dream. And when you find the people who believe in that dream and are willing to underwrite it, then you have a university."
~ David Ben-Gurion
Ben-Gurion University was created in 1969 to transform the Negev. Through creative thinking and a commitment to excellence, BGU has pursued its unique mission with intelligence and passion.
David Ben-Gurion believed that individual initiative and original ideas could make the desert bloom. The University that perpetuates his name has gone even further, breaking down traditional barriers to create a dynamic learning environment and build a more equitable society.
Since 1969, our programs have evolved, our student body has grown, and our faculty has expanded. Our goals, however, remain the same: Innovate, Create, Transform.
Today, BGU is the number one choice of Israeli undergraduate students -- voted Best Place to Study for a few years in a row according to a recent survey commissioned by the National Union of Israeli Students Research Department.
In addition, over one-third of BGU students are pursuing advanced degrees at the Kreitman School for Advanced Graduate Studies, affirming BGU’s position as a world-class center of research.
As Israel’s fastest growing university with almost 21,000 students in campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sde Boqer and Eilat, Ben-Gurion offers scores of courses in diverse disciplines -- from Engineering Sciences to Business Management to Social Studies to Jewish Literature and Culture.
A world-class academic institution, BGU has:
- pioneered a radical approach to community-based healthcare
- created award-winning programs in arid land agriculture and water resource management
- fostered interdisciplinary research in fields such as nanotechnology and electro-optics
BGU serves as a bridge between academia and industry, between Israel and the developing world. Unique worldwide, the Medical School for International Health – in collaboration with Columbia University Medical Center – is training physicians in cross-cultural, community, and preventive medicine.
Approximately 400 Bedouin students now attend BGU, thanks to outreach and retention programs spearheaded by the Center for Bedouin Studies and Development.
BGU researchers are working throughout the Middle East to improve healthcare, education, and economic conditions - for all the residents of the region.
Desertification researchers at the renowned Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research have at their fingertips priceless data on the ecology of arid lands. This center is world recognized as the leader in the fight against desertification (the degradation of land in drylands). Through advances researched and developed at this institute, Ben-Gurion University has helped transform the arid zones of Israel and by so doing has been significant in helping other nations of the world feed their populations.
BGU Is Rated One of the World's Top 50 Green Campuses
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ranked 46th on GreenMetric's list of worldwide green campuses. It is the only Israeli university on the list.
The GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities was established last year to provide a benchmark for universities to achieve an environmentally friendly and sustainable operation. It compares universities on their degree of commitment to environmental education and implementation of sustainable policies.
In 1976, Ben-Gurion University created the Community Action Unit, a pioneering venture in community outreach that initiates and runs social and educational programs for motivated children and adults who have been held back by economic circumstances.
Often described as “a university with a conscience,” BGU offers the Open Apartments Program; the Leadership Training Program for students; the Newstart Program, through which adults can complete their formal education; the Reaching Out Program for new immigrants; and much more.