|Students||approximately 14,000 (as of August 2011)|
|Location||Ariel, West Bank, Palestinian territories|
Ariel University was founded in 1982 as a regional branch of Bar-Ilan University. Originally located in the settlement of Kedumim, it moved to Ariel where it built a larger campus and went on to become the largest Israeli public college. In the 2004–05 academic year, the affiliation with Bar Ilan ended and it became an independent college. Ariel University has 26 departments for BA, MA, BSc and B.Arch studies, in three faculties and three schools. In 2011, it had a student population of 14,000, with a branch in Tel Aviv. All degrees are recognized by the Council for Higher Education in Israel.
Ariel University cooperates with international organizations and universities all over the world. The college and its staff have been boycotted, both in Israel and overseas, for its location beyond the Green Line in the Palestinian territories.
On 17 July 2012, the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria voted to grant the institution full university status. This move was praised by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Education Gideon Saar, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and some Knesset members and Nobel Prize in Economics winning mathematician Robert Aumann. The Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities condemned the move.
In 2005, the Israeli government supported upgrading the college to university status. The change of status was not immediate since the Council for Higher Education in Israel must approve such changes. In July 2006 the Council rejected a proposal to merge several regional colleges in the Galilee. Based on the findings of a committee appointed by the Council, it was decided not to approve the establishment of any new universities in Israel for the next five years. 
Upgrading the college to university status was controversial. Settlements such as Ariel are considered illegal under international law by the international community, and Palestinians see them as an obstacle to peace, but the Israeli government disputes this. Said British Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt: "We are also deeply disappointed in the decision to upgrade Ariel’s university centre. Ariel is beyond the Green Line in a settlement that is illegal according to international law. (...) We reiterate our call on Israel urgently to reverse these decisions".
In August 2007, prior to achieving official university status, the college was renamed the "Ariel University Center of Samaria." Although Prime Minister Ehud Olmert endorsed the change, both Minister of Education Yuli Tamir and the Council for Higher Education said they would block it, with the latter announcing in 2008 that they would not recognise degrees awarded by the college. The name change was recognised in 2010, although the college remained without university accreditation until it was approved in July 2012.
Current enrollment at the university is about 14,000, including secular and orthodox Jewish, including the largest number of Ethiopian-born students in any Israeli university, Arab, and Circassian Israeli students. As of 2011[update] there are 600 Israeli Arab students. The Center is open to all Israeli citizens, including Arabs.
In December 2011 the Ariel University Center of Samaria held a special conference entitled “Best Plans for a Peaceful Israel/Palestine”, jointly with the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism and the organization's president Kamal Nawash to promote solutions to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The conference was attended by Israeli Arabs, Israeli Jews and Palestinians from the PA-controlled areas of the West Bank.
The organizer of the event, Israeli Doron Tzur, said he wanted to "create a reality where Israelis and Palestinians participate in presenting their own ideas of peace. [We want] a more detailed plan, one that is transparent, that everyone can explore, ask questions and expect a response. The way to build confidence, create some sort of agreement, where a majority of both nations agree; let's do a referendum, let's make it a reality."
AUC hosts visiting lecturers from universities around the world. In 2010 University of Hartford communications professor Don Ellis taught the course "Communication Issues and Political Conflict." He said: "My only goal is to help them improve their critical thinking skills. I don't expect that either side will acknowledge the other side as being right." British professor Geoffrey Alderman is also a guest lecturer at Ariel University, and has said that those British members of parliament who oppose the university, did so because the university “is Jewish. If it was a Palestinian university they wouldn’t object. For heaven’s sake, this is an educational establishment with many Palestinian as well as Jewish students.”
International cooperation and programs
Ariel University Center has signed academic cooperation agreements with over 51 higher education institutions around the world, including the United States, Russia, France, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Argentina, Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Taiwan and Armenia. There is a partnership between the University of Toronto and the Ariel University on the Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA).
The center is recognized as a Microsoft IT Academy and authorized to make certification exams for Microsoft Network Administration. In addition, the Center has a unique qualification: Gold CPLS: Certified Partner for Learning Solutions.
In 2011 Ariel University Center jointly with Ural Federal University signed a cooperation agreement with the Skolkovo innovation center known as "Silicon Valley" in Russia. Following this agreement, will be formed the "center of Israel – Scolkovo" (Israel Skolkovo Gateway), to provide Israeli companies with access to capital resources and manpower. In addition, the Center serves as a representative of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Ariel University Center participates in the project Masa Israel Journey in which Jewish students all over the world come for the time between a semester to a year study in Ariel, about 30% of students coming to study in Ariel immigrate to Israel at the end of the project.
In August 2011, the university's technology transfer company was to sign a partnership agreement with Moscow's Skolkovo innovation center. It was intended to provide Israeli start-ups with access to Russian funding established by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and create Skolkovo Gateway Israel, a center formed to connect to Russia's Silicon Valley.
In early 2011, 145 Israeli academics announced they were boycotting the university to protest Israeli settlement expansion. They wrote in their petition, "Ariel is not part of the sovereign territory of Israel, and we therefore cannot be required to go there." This came after the Spanish Housing Ministry disqualified the university from taking part in an international architectural competition in 2009. The Spanish government explained that their decision to ban the university was a result of it being located in Israeli-occupied territories. The Anti-Defamation League asked the Spanish Government and the US Department of Energy to overturn the disqualification of Israeli researchers from an international solar energy competition in Madrid. Abraham H. Foxman, ADL’s national director, called the move "unwarranted, biased and clearly discriminatory," and said it introduced politics "into an important scientific competition where politics has no place." The British Association of University Teachers (AUT) briefly boycotted Bar-Ilan University in April 2005 for its academic links with the college. The boycott was rescinded in May 2005.
Faculties and departments
- Faculty of Engineering
- Faculty of Natural Sciences
- School of Health Sciences
- Health Management
- Communications Disorders
- Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities
- Economics & Business Management
- Master of Business Administration
- Behavioral Sciences
- Sociology and Anthropology
- School of Social Work, including advanced degrees
- Political Science
- Israel & Middle Eastern Studies
- Israel Heritage
- Multidisciplinary Studies (Humanities)
- School of Communications
- Real Estate Assessment (diploma)
- Center for Radiation Sources and Applications (FEL)
- Integrative Brain Science Center-Ariel (IBSCA)
- Materials Research Center
- Center for Robotics Research and Applications
- Samaria & Jordan Valley Regional R&D Center
- Homeland Security R&D Center
- Israel National Strategic Assessment Center
- Mass Media Research Center
- Ariel Research Center for Defense and Communication (ARCDC)
- Institute for the Study of New Media, Politics and Society
- Center for Law and Mass Media
- kinematics and computational geometry (KCG) multidisciplinary laboratory
- Cluster computation system
- Human Factors Engineering Laboratory
- Sheri and Arnold Schlesinger Medical Radiation Protection, Training, Information and Research Center
- Therapeutic and Educational Social Robotics Lab ( TESRL)
- Mel Alexenberg, artist
- Edward Bormashenko, Head of the Laboratory of Polymers
- Dani Dayan (born 1955), Chairman of the Yesha Council and lecturer at Ariel
- Israel Hanukoglu, Professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and former Science and Technology Adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel
- Ram Karmi (born 1931), architect
- Dan Meyerstein (born 1938), President of Ariel University Center of Samaria
- Ya'ar, Chana (August 7, 2011). "Thousands Visit Ariel to Explore University Center Offerings". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
- It's official: Ariel University recognized. Ynet News. Dec 25, 2012
- "Ariel University Center of Samaria". Ariel.ac.il. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Templer, B (2007) Educational Geopolitics and the 'Settler University' in Ariel Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, Volume 5, Number 2
-  Member Institutions
- "The GARP site at the Ariel University Center of Samaria; The academic chapter of Israel". Ariel.ac.il. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- Ariel University Center of Samaria, in cooperation with academic institutions around the world
- "Scientific Cooperation and Partners | Ariel University Center of Samaria | Israel". University-directory.eu. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- "Ariel gets university status, despite opposition". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Nationalists Welcome Decision on Ariel University, July 18, 2012 Arutz Sheva, 18 July 2012
- "I was very impressed by the quality of the place as an academic institution and I think Israel needs another university," said Mr Aumann, a mathematician, July 17, 2012 BBC News, 17 July 2012
- Israel's first settlement university stirs controversy, July 17, 2012 BBC News, 17 July 2012
- Request from Ariel College to become a university turned down Walla News, 12 July 2006
- Israel's first settlement university stirs controversy (BBC, July 17, 2012)
- "The Geneva Convention". BBC News. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- Foreign Office minister condemns new settlement (Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 26 December 2012)
- Justice Ministry Downgrades Ariel University to College Israel National News, 30 March 2008
- Ariel College upgrades itself to 'university' status Haaretz, 2 August 2007
- Education Council: We won't recognize degrees awarded by Ariel college Haaretz, 11 June 2008
- Council for Higher Education: Ariel university status years away The Jerusalem Post, 21 January 2010
- Ariel academic center recognized as first Israeli university beyond Green Line Haaretz, 17 July 2012
- Barak authorizes upgrading Ariel college to university
- Student Body at The Ariel University Center of Samaria
- A study in irony Haaretz, 22 June 2005
- Arabs Studying at ‘Settler’ College Israel Today, 18 January 2006
- Apartheid, You Say? 600 Arab Students Begin Year at Ariel U
- Israelis, Arabs Offer Solutions to the Conflict
- Right-wing, Palestinians brainstorm at Ariel parley
- Makor Rishon Newspaper Ariel Wants Peace
- ".". Hartford Courant. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- MPs question support for Ariel
- Conference Circuit November 2008
- Canada and Israel Continue academic cooperation
- "Apply for the IT Academy Program". Microsoft.com. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
-  Your Way to Russian Silicon Valley
- "Israel Skolkovo Gateway". Israelsk.com. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "Bi-national Russian-Israeli workshop". Academy.ac.il. 19 June 2005. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- "Ariel University Center of Samaria". Ariel.ac.il. 2 August 2006. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- ".". Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- Israeli Academics to Boycott Ariel University, Huffington Post, 9 January 2011.
- Israel academics to boycott college Aljazeera English, 9 January 2011.
- Spain boycotts Ariel college for being in 'occupied territory' Ynetnews.com, 22 September 2009.
- ADL: Stop Discrimination Against Ariel University Arutz Sheva, 30 September 2009.
- "Report to members from the AUT national council". Archived from the original on 30 January 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2005.
- "Academics vote against Israeli boycott". The Guardian (London). 26 May 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2005.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ariel University Center of Samaria.|
- Ariel University official site
- Friends Of Ariel University Center
- Ariel University R&D Company Ltd, the technology transfer company of Ariel University Center, israel