Program to Integrate Bedouin Students from the Negev into Higher Education

The “Gateway to Academia” Program to Integrate Bedouin Students From the Negev into Higher Education
The “Gateway to Academia” Program operated over three years as a pilot program at the Sapir Academic College and, following its success, was expanded during the 2018/19 academic year to four additional academic institutions operating in the Negev: Ben Gurion University, the Open University, Achva Academic College, Ashkelon College. For this purpose, more than NIS 200 million was allocated to three cycles, most of the money from the PBC’s budget and the rest from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Education.

“Gateway to Academia” provides a holistic response to the unique needs of Bedouin students in the Negev. The holistic response includes a preparatory year which provides practical experience along with academic studies and extensive assistance in quality integration into bachelor’s degree studies in a variety of preferential fields of study. Similarly, extensive linguistic, academic, cultural, and economic assistance is provided in order to ease the integration of Bedouin students into academia and help them complete their studies successfully.

In the framework of the “Gateway to Academia” program, a goal was set to increase the number of first year bachelor’s degree Bedouin students by 75% such that their numbers would increase to at least 1500 in the 2021/22 academic year as compared to 854 first year students in 2015/16.