Shared Life on Campus: Arab and Jewish Students at Tel Aviv University

On Monday, 23 April 2018, the KAP for Jewish-Arab Cooperation at the Moshe Dayan Center will hold a conference in the "Yaglom" Auditorium, Senate Building, Tel Aviv University. Sessions will be held in Hebrew and Arabic with simultaneous translation into both languages.

According to figures for the 2018/17 academic year, there are some 3,000 Arab students registered at Tel Aviv University comprising about 14.5% of the total number of registered students. These figures represent a significant increase compared to the beginning of this decade, when the number of Arab students on campus was about 2,000, and their proportion of the total student population at Tel Aviv University was only 7.5%.

This trend is representative of a general increase in the number of Arab students at institutions of higher education in Israel. According to the Council for Higher Education, over the past decade the number of Arab students studying for all degrees has risen from 22,000 in 2007 to 46,000 in 2017. The proportion of Arab students in the general population of students in institutions of higher education in Israel almost doubled throughout this period, increasing from 19.0% in 2007 to 35.4% in 2017.

The initial encounter of the Arab student with the living experience on the Tel Aviv University campus is not without problems. For many of them, this represents a new experience in several aspects. Arab students must depart from their communities and their familiar environments, acclimate to life in a big city, and must experience for the first time unmediated contact with the Jewish Israeli population.  While relocation to Tel Aviv is often accompanied by high aspirations and hopes for professional advancement and the creation of a better future, it is also accompanied by fears of facing difficulties in learning and adaptation to a new cultural environment in which the Hebrew language is dominant.

Schedule of Conference on April 23 2018
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