Israeli Arabs, women in particular, have made huge strides over the past decade at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, better known as Israel’s answer to MIT, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.
The Israeli Arabs’ share of the Technion student body is now equal to their share of the population, which is truly impressive, considering the sad fact that more than half of Israeli Arab children live below the poverty line.
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The number of Technion Arab female students has grown from 39 percent in 2003 to 48 percent in 2014. Those figures compare favorably with those of majority-Arab nations, says Yosef Jabareen, an Arab professor of urban planning who spearheads the Technion’s effort to recruit and graduate Arab students.
Arabs, male and female, aren’t just being admitted. They’re graduating. The dropout rate, which was 73 percent in the 1970s, has fallen to 20 percent, vs. a dropout rate of 12 percent for Jews at the Technion, Jabareen says.
One factor in this success story, according to Jabareen, is a network of excellent private schools for Arabs. Many are run by Arab Christians but are open to Muslims as well, with ample funding from the Israeli government. The government support is contingent on attendance, much like the voucher systems in the U.S.