Models of academic governance during a period of nationbuilding: The Hebrew University in the 1920s-1960s

Uri Cohen, Adi Sapir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the development of the structures of university governance at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem between the 1920s and 1960s. The model that ultimately prevailed, a state-sponsored model of governance, dominated the higher education system in Israel until the early 2000s and was characterised by the dominance of academic faculty, a status that the government accorded to the faculty in exchange for their acceptance of the state’s normative vision for universities’ role in society. Two main governance models that were instituted at the HU are identified: (1) the Diaspora university, 1925-1950, a distinctive governance model that emerged in the pre-state period and was controlled by Jewish communities in the Diaspora, and (2) the state university, 1950s-2000s, which shifted the centre of gravity to the state. These models are further divided into sub-models and the processes described through which academic autonomy was institutionalised during a period of nation-building.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-620
Number of pages19
JournalHistory of Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Higher education
  • Israel
  • Politics
  • The hebrew university of jerusalem
  • University governance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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