The University that Built a Nation

Absorbing Soviet Scientists

In the 1990s, among the 700,000 new immigrants from the Soviet Union were 11,000 scientists, 58,000 engineers, and thousands of potential students. Many of them brought advanced skills that would benefit the country. Absorbing them was both a challenge and a great opportunity for the nation and the Technion.

Careful planning and resource allocation allowed the Technion to grow its campus and invest in language and skill training, including the development of a series of books called “Hebrew for Technology and Science” written by Technion Hebrew teachers, which were used throughout the country.

By the end of the decade, 17 scientists had joined the faculty, 550 were employed in laboratories, hundreds more found their way to private industry via the Technion, and hundreds of Russian students had enrolled and graduated. The investment the Technion made in them was exponentially paid back by their contributions to science and technology, helping pave the way to the Startup Nation boom.