Promoting and Integrating Arab, Druze and Circassian Societies

Integration of Arab students  in MA programs in psychology

Promoting Higher Education in Bedouin Society

Undergraduate Scholarship Fund – Irteka

To watch the video, Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Report by PBC’s Professional Team – Enhancing Accessibility for Arab Society


Continued integration of Israeli Arabs into Israeli society in general and specifically into the system of higher education is one of the key objectives of the new program. Arab society in Israel is made up of 1.75 million residents, constituting 20.7% of the Israeli population. Improving Arab society’s access to higher education, while striving for appropriate representation, will significantly advance full integration into Israeli society, which will reduce economic and financial gaps.

The program set a goal of increasing the percentage of minority students from 14% of all students in institutions of higher education in Israel to 17% in 2022. The total budget for the program period is approximately NIS 1 billion.
Enhancing accessibility for Arab, Druze and Circassian societies

The Planning and Budget Committee is working to improve access to the system of higher education for Arabs, Druze and Circassians in Israel and recently developed a holistic program that addresses all of the barriers identified on the continuum – from high school through graduate degrees or integration into the workforce. Given the complexity of the issue and its importance as a precondition for receiving budgetary assistance, the PBC demanded the appointment of a designated person, who will report to the president or rector, to be responsible at each of the institutions it funds.

The following are the highlights of the program:

Heightening awareness and orientation towards higher education by expanding Hesegim centers to minority population areas, conducting exposure activity and academic preparation at high schools, and translation of the CHE website and those of the budgeted institutions into Arabic. Tailoring the academic preparatory tracks to the needs of Arab students through a unique package of assistance to all of the PBC-funded Mechinot (preparatory programs) in which students from Arab society are enrolled. In addition, the PBC will grant merit scholarships to Mechinot graduates with the highest achievements and will provide each institution with a one-time marketing and branding budget in order to make the Arab population aware of the existence and advantages of the preacademic preparatory program.

Most of the PBC support for undergraduate degrees is designed to reduce the dropout rate, drawing out studies and switching departments, and it will focus on Arab students in their first year of study. As part of this effort, the institutions will receive a budget to provide social support, academic support, personal guidance, tools to improve study skills, language enrichment, etc. The institutions will be given flexibility in the mix of how they use the budget, based on the known needs.

Additionally, to ease the first encounter with academia, the Hebrew language and Israel-Western culture easier for students from Arab society, the Step Ahead of the Rest program will be implemented about two months before undergraduate studies begin, and it will include language enrichment, academic orientation and more.

To ease the transition into the workforce for Arab students in the final year of their studies, the PBC will support training that will include career counseling content such as writing a resume, preparing for job interviews, meetings with employers, etc.

To encourage the integration of Arab students into graduate studies, merit scholarships will be granted to master’s students in research tracks, doctoral students and post-doctoral students. Additionally, Maof scholarships will continue to be awarded to encourage the hiring of outstanding Arab faculty at institutions of higher education.

The PBC is currently working to establish a scholarship fund for Arab students that will be based on socioeconomic status, merit and preferred areas of study. The plan is for the fund to be created jointly between the PBC, Prime Minister’s Office and philanthropic organizations.

Report by PBC’s Professional Team - Enhancing Accessibility for Arab Society


To watch the video, Shattering the Glass Ceiling

To see comments by former President, the late Shimon Peres

To see comments by  Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg

Conferences and seminars

Making Academia Accessible to Arab Society – Conference in Conjunction with the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, January 26, 2015

Making Academia Accessible to Arabs, Druze and Circassians in Israel – First Seminar, March 6, 2013