Increasing access to higher education among Arab citizens of Israel is crucial not only for the individual students themselves but for Israel’s overall economic development.
In 2011, the Council of Higher Education introduced a 5-Year Plan to increase accessibility to higher education among Arab, Druze and Circassian students. The first plan ran through 2015/16, and has subsequently been extended through 2021/22.
The plan is being implemented in 30 institutions of higher education that receive their budgets from the CHE’s Planning and Budgeting Committee, and where the student body includes Arab, Druze, and Circassian students.
The program relates holistically to the many stages involved in succeeding in higher education: from providing information and guidance in grades 11 and 12, to offering pre-academic preparatory courses, to financial support while studying, to assistance in transitioning to the labor market. There are scholarships for excellence in postgraduate studies and academic staff. Beyond assistance to the individual students, a special effort is made to address the overall organizational culture of the institutions in terms of the degree to which they are culturally inclusive.
MJB is supporting the plan with a multi-year evaluation of the implementation and outcomes.
The study includes student surveys and quantitative and qualitative examination of the implementation of the integration program. In addition, the research has a special focus the integration of Bedouin students from the Negev.
MJB’s study is expected to continue through Spring 2019.