Good news for ultra-Orthodox students: Twelve new "haredi campuses" will be launched this year in Israel's
universities and colleges as part of a program aimed at increasing the number of haredi students in Israel's higher education system.
The new program will offer courses in computer science, optometry, architecture, art, and other fields.
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar briefed the government on the plan, which is expected to bring about 20% increase in the number of haredi students, on Sunday.
According to current figures, some 6,000 haredi students study in just three ultra-Orthodox colleges – the Haredi College of Jerusalem, Mivhar College in Bnei Brak and the Haredi Campus of the Kiryat Ono College.
The reform, which has a NIS 180 million (about $47 million) budget, is expected to double the number of haredi students by 2017.
As part of the plan, the haredi campuses will operate near academic institutions, will offer similar courses, but will maintain strict separation between men and women.
"This is a move of great social value," said Sa'ar. "Integrating haredim into the system is highly significant both from the social aspect and from the aspect of integrating into the labor market."