maandag 9 november 2009

Israelische Arabieren studeren aan Jordaanse universiteiten vanwege leeftijdsgrens in Israel

Vreemd genoeg legt onderstaand artikel nergens uit waarom die minimumleeftijd er is, en waarom juist Arabieren er zoveel hinder van ondervinden en ertegen protesteren. Het beste zou zijn wanneer Arabieren ook in het leger zouden dienen of anders een sociaal dienstjaar vervullen, maar daartegen wordt vanuit het Israelisch-Arabische leiderschap juist fel actie gevoerd omdat het de integratie zou bevorderen en hun eigen Arabische identiteit zou bedreigen.

Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:  Israeli universities apply an entrance age requirement so that those who don't serve in the army or do national service aren't rewarded with being able to attend university while others are in national service.  It still doesn't level the playing field since they can spend this time studying and retaking the Israeli matriculation and "psychometric" (an equivalent of the American SAT) tests to improve their scores [entrance to almost all programs at Israeli universities are based purely on these scores] while those serving the country find themselves taking or re-taking these critical tests after not having been in a classroom for years. This while the testing schedule for the matriculation exams [which in some cases is only once a year with the results available too late for application for the academic year] can mean losing another year after completion of national service .

Increasing numbers of Israeli Arabs studying at Jordanian universities
By Ofri Ilani  Haaretz
Last update - 04:40 01/11/2009
Increasing numbers of Israeli Arab high school graduates are leaving the country to study at Jordanian universities, according to a recent survey. A decade ago fewer than 100 Arab Israelis were studying at Jordanian institutions of higher learning, but last year this swelled to about 5,000.

According to the study, sponsored by Dirsat: The Arab Center for Law and Policy, a major reason for the phenomenon is age requirements in many departments at Israeli universities, as well as the language barrier.

hen Maria Shalash of the largely Arab city of Nazareth graduated from high school two years ago, she wanted to study occupational therapy and communication disorders. "The field interested me, and people also told me that there were jobs [in the field]," she said.

Shalash tried to gain a place at the University of Haifa and was invited for an interview. But the university later discovered she was under 20, which disqualified her. She is now studying law, where there is no minimum-age requirement.

De facto discrimination

Shalash is not alone. Thousands of young high school graduates who want to study nursing or occupational or physical therapy have to wait until their 20th birthdays because of limitations by universities. Organizations representing the Arab community are seeking to change the situation, saying that it constitutes de facto discrimination against Israeli Arabs.

Though similar age requirements are not generally imposed by universities abroad, Israeli universities say the policy is necessary to ensure that students are emotionally mature. On the other hand, the Israel Defense Forces allows recruits, most of whom are Jewish, to defer their military service and enter university at age 18.

In recent years, Israel Arab civil rights organizations have sought to fight the universities' minimum-age requirements. "This discrimination actually harms [students seeking to study] in the fields that are most needed by the Arab public," said Dirsat director Yusuf Jabarin. "Even if it was originally not designed to harm Arab students, it is appropriate to consider abolishing [the restrictions]."

A lawsuit filed by the Nazareth-based Karameh human rights organization seeking to abolish the age provisions is currently pending in Tel Aviv District Court.

"I finished high school with good grades and I wanted to do paramedical studies," said Fadel Sa'adi, who hails from an Arab village in the north. "Ultimately I decided to study nursing, but I couldn't because I wasn't 20. I didn't have anything to do so I worked in construction."

A spokesman for the University of Haifa declined to comment on the matter because it was the subject of legal proceedings. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev said that age is a "criterion that is a predictor of success relating to the need to deal with practical experiences." He said that "the university has an interest in maximizing the success rate [of its students]."

The university noted that there are other areas such as the granting of firearms licenses or a bus or taxi driver's license where the applicant needs to be over 18. Regarding the army's program that allows 18-year-olds to enter university, a spokesman said that "the university fulfills the dictates of the Israel Defense Forces ... on the understanding that it involves an important national need."

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