A new report published by the Knesset Research and Information Center shows a 100% increase in the number of Israeli students, mostly from the Bedouin sector, studying in the Palestinian Authority.
According to the report, which will be presented at the Knesset's Education Committee next week, the main reason for the sharp increase is the admission requirements in Israeli colleges, as well as a difficulty with the Hebrew language and psychometric exams.
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The findings indicate that some 1,300 Israeli students are currently studying in universities in Hebron and Jenin, mostly in the fields of education and teaching. The number has doubled since 2011, when there were 619 students, and nearly quadrupled since 2010, when there were only 336 Israeli students enrolled in Palestinian universities.
'Not same as Israeli standards'
Despite the high figures, the authors of the report noted that these are only initial estimates based on data obtained from the Palestinian Authority. According to the Education Ministry, the lack of data stems from the fact that higher education institutions in the Palestinian Authority refrain from cooperating with official Israeli elements.
Chairman of the Knesset's Education Committee Alex Miller said the findings are alarming, adding that they require the immediate attention of the higher education system in Israel.
"The universities in the Palestinian Authority do not necessarily fulfill the academic standard required in Israel, which is why graduates have difficulty integrating into the Israeli job market and are required to complete supplementary courses," he said.
Addressing another concern, Miller added: "Because these institutions operate in the Palestinian Authority there is a concern that the Israeli students will be influenced by terror organizations and their activities."
The Education Ministry states in response to the report that "education colleges in the southern Israel admit every Bedouin candidates that fulfills the admissions requirements," adding that "every year education colleges accept some 1,800 non-Jewish students."
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