Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was established in 1969 with the aim to bring development to the Negev, a desert area comprising more than sixty percent of the country. The University was inspired by the vision of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, who believed that the future of the country lay in this region.
Today, Ben-Gurion University is a major center for teaching and research, with campuses in Beer-Sheva, including the Marcus Family Campus, as well as in Eilat and Sede Boqer, where Ben-Gurion lived in his final years and is buried. More than 19,000 students are enrolled in the Faculties of Engineering Sciences, Health Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management and the Kreitman School of Advanced Graduate Studies. The University also includes major research institutes such as the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research with its Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies and the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism. New interdisciplinary degree programs are redefining the boundaries between the Faculties and attracting outstanding students. Its world-famous Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School has become a model for community-oriented and global medicine, while social work and education degree programs supply Beer-Sheva and the region with the majority of its social service personnel.
In keeping with its mandate, Ben-Gurion University plays a key role in promoting industry, agriculture and education in the Negev. University-sponsored community colleges and pre-academic and continuing education programs make learning accessible to greater numbers of Negev residents, while a myriad of community action programs involving over half of the student body benefit the various communities in the region.
BGU is part of the global community, with researchers sharing internationally their expertise in such fields as hi-tech, bio-tech, medicine, arid zone agriculture, solar energy, water resource management, nanotechnology and more. The University anticipates exciting challenges in innovative fields of research and hopes to bring new opportunities to Beer-Sheva and the Negev while continuing its pursuit of academic excellence and expanding its contribution to the community.