Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is an institution of higher education and research with a mission like no other.
The only Israeli university created by government mandate, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) was established in 1969 with a mission to be an engine for the development of Israel’s Negev region.
BGU was inspired by the vision of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who believed that the future of Israel lay in the Negev region, a desert area comprising more than 60 percent of the country.
Today, BGU is a world-renowned institution of research and higher learning that has transcended the boundaries of academia to create a new model of education and research that impacts people’s lives in the Negev region, throughout Israel and around the world.
With some 20,000 students and campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sede Boqer and Eilat, BGU is truly an oasis of innovation, leading research in cyber and homeland security; alternative energy; desert and water research; global health; medical technologies; Israel studies, culture and Jewish thought; and high-tech and robotics.
For more details about BGU’s academic programmes, visit the University’s website.
Current Research at BGU
Desert & Water Research
Desert Agriculture & Aquaculture
Scientists are developing agro- and biotechnologies for increasing food production in arid areas where conventional methods cannot be implemented.
Extensive research, ranging from groundwater production and desalination technologies to treatments for marginal water sources, is carried out.
Living in Drylands
Scientists study all facets of the interdependencies between the physical environment – natural and human made – and life in arid environments.
Homeland & Cyber Security
BGU is developing technologies that address Israel’s security challenges and those of its allies.
Scientists at BGU’s Homeland Security Institute are developing autonomous vehicles for air, land and sea, keeping people out of harm’s way. They’re building resilient structures that withstand rockets, artillery shells and earthquakes. New remote sensing technologies are being used for anomaly and target detection, and protection of infrastructure and borders. A micro-satellite is being designed and launched into space. Sensors are being developed to identify bio and chemical contaminants, and measures are being taken to safeguard water supplies. BGU’s emergency response team is prepared to minimise the impact in the event of a tragedy, and cyber scientists are keeping “virtual” borders safe.
Researchers are protecting information systems from unauthorised access, identifying cyber threats and combatting the proliferation of infected data.
BGU scientists are working to treat and prevent a range of disorders that includes Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, epilepsy, stroke, autism, and learning disorders.
Around 10% of people living with diabetes in the UK have Type 1 diabetes. BGU researchers are working on ways not only to better treat and manage diabetes, but also to cure it.
At BGU, specialists are working on preventive and therapeutic options to stop weight gain. They are helping people live healthier lives through improved nutrition.
Regenerative and stem cell medicine
BGU scientists see extraordinary hope for stem cell and gene therapy treatments and cures for intractable diseases, such as heart defects, ALS, MS, cancer, and more.
Medical research at BGU covers the spectrum of human health, with emphasis on neurosciences, diabetes, cardio metabolic health, and cancer.
BGU is an important player in the international bio-medical research arena. Pioneering research is conducted by highly respected senior faculty, a cadre of young scientists returning to Israel from prestigious institutions, and exceptional graduate and postgraduate research fellows. Collaborations between the health, natural and engineering sciences foster an environment of research innovation. BGU’s commitment to community is reflected in research focusing on the health problems of the Negev, especially in the fields of genetics, nutrition and psychiatry.
Ingrained in BGU’s DNA is a desire to make a difference. Over 40% of undergraduates volunteer in the local community.
Since its inception, one of Ben-Gurion University’s primary goals has been to establish a more equitable society for the people of the Negev region, many of whom are underprivileged. In many ways, the Negev is still considered the “periphery” of Israel, and many of its residents are immigrants who arrived in Israel from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia and other countries.
The region’s growing Bedouin population faces its own unique set of cultural and economic challenges. BGU students and faculty bridge the gap from academia to social action on a regular basis, contributing their time and know-how in Beer-Sheva’s most challenged neighbourhoods and in the surrounding development towns.
Through the University’s Department of Community Action and other grassroots initiatives, students give back to the local community and in the process learn that the smallest acts of kindness make a huge difference in the lives of others.