Merger Forms Tel Aviv University Tel Aviv University. Photo: Tel Aviv University

June 6, 1956

The Tel Aviv School of Law and Economics merges with the Municipal Institute of Natural Sciences and Humanities to form Tel Aviv University, which soon also incorporates the Academic Institute of Jewish Studies. The schools together have fewer than 200 students. They remain economically independent but unite in terms of examinations, applications and lectures. The opening of Tel Aviv University is part of a movement to expand Israel’s public and private education. Bar-Ilan University, the University of Haifa and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev open around the same time.

The municipality initially operates Tel Aviv University, but it gains its independence in 1963, the same year that it launches its first medical courses and hires its first president, George Wise. The university expands in the 1960s beyond bachelor’s degrees and constructs its central infrastructure, the Ramat Aviv campus. The university moves to the new campus in 1969, the year it receives formal accreditation from the Council for Higher Education. The university maximizes its growth during this period by creating an international board of governors to oversee financial matters. In the 1970s, Tel Aviv University opens a complete medical school, the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, and adds the faculties of arts and engineering.

The university is the largest in Israel. It has more than 30,000 students across 29 schools and 98 departments.