Israel's is set to establish its 10th university in Safed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday during a tour of the northern city.
Since the country's northernmost university is located in Haifa, a growing need to establish a higher education institution in the Galilee region (some 51 km or 32 miles from Haifa) has developed in recent years.
In 2005, Israel's government decided to establish a new university in the Galilee but for the next ten years no plans appear to have materialized. In 2015, however, Netanyahu vowed to make good on the previous government's claims during a Galilee Conference.
Safed Mayor Shuki Ohana said the decision to establish the university in the city will revive the entire region.
“Together we will make a dream a reality. Safed is prepared for this. We will roll up our sleeves together and go out to plan and execute,” he added.
Safed currently boasts more than 2,000 students enrolled in the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine - an extension of Bar-Ilan University, the Safed Academic College and the School of Nursing.
At this time, 66 institutions of higher education operate in Israel, including seven research universities, the Open University of Israel and 37 academic colleges, facilitating the education of over 315,000 Israelis annually.