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Ariel University

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Ariel University
אוניברסיטת אריאל
Ariel university.logo.jpg
ChancellorYigal Cohen-Orgad
PresidentYehuda Danon
RectorMichael Zinigrad
PrincipalEli Cohen
DeanShmuel Shacham
Studentsapproximately 15,000 (as of August 2012)[1]
ColorsTeal, Navy and White               
Ariel University

Ariel University (Hebrew: אוניברסיטת אריאל), previously a public college known as the Ariel University Center of Samaria, is an Israeli university located in the Israeli settlement of Ariel in the West Bank.[3][4]

The college preceding the establishment of Ariel University was founded in 1982 as a regional branch of Bar-Ilan University. Originally located in the settlement of Kedumim,[5] 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.

On 17 July 2012, the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria voted to grant the institution full university status.[6] This move was praised by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Education Gideon Saar, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and some Knesset members[7] as well as Nobel Prize in Economics winning mathematician Robert Aumann.[8] The Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities condemned the move.[8] A survey in 2013 found that 65% of the public in Israel supported the recognition of Ariel University as Israel's eighth university.[9]

Ariel University has 26 departments for B.A., B.Sc. and B.Arch. studies, in three faculties and three schools. In addition, Ariel University offers a master's degree programs for M.A., M.B.A. and M.Sc. In 2014, Ariel University initiated a Ph.D. programs for Doctorate studies also. 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.[10][11][12][13] The university and its staff have been the target of boycotts, both in Israel and overseas, for its location in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

University status

View of Ariel University campus

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.[14]

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,[8] but the Israeli government disputes this.[15] 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".[16]

In August 2007, prior to achieving official university status, the college was renamed the "Ariel University Center of Samaria."[17] 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,[18] with the latter announcing in 2008 that they would not recognise degrees awarded by the college.[19] The name change was recognised in 2010, although the college remained without university accreditation until it was approved in July 2012.[20][21]

On 24 December 2012, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Central Command to officially recognize Ariel University as a fully accredited university.[22]

On 12 February 2018, the Knesset passed legislation placing Israeli colleges in Judea and Samaria under the direct authority of Israel's higher education establishment, ending a long-standing distinction between schools in and outside of pre-1967 Israel. Under the new law, the separate higher education council for Judea and Samaria was abolished, and all Israeli colleges operating in Judea and Samaria were placed under the supervision of the Council for Higher Education in Israel.[23]

Students and faculty

Student dormitory

Current enrollment at the university is about 14,000, including Jewish (secular and Orthodox), Arab, Druze, and Circassian Israeli students. It also has the largest number of Ethiopian-born students in any Israeli university.[24][25][26] As of 2011 there are 600 Israeli Arab students.[27] Arab students have generally not felt any racially or politically motivated discrimination at the university.[28][29][30] In addition, several faculty members with left-wing views teach at the university.[31]

Peace conference

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.[32][33]

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."[34]

Visiting lecturers

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."[35] 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."[36]

Professor Hilde Leone of Leibniz University, Hanover, was a guest lecturer at the university's school of architecture, speaking about "Between Vision and Reality."[37]

International cooperation and programs

View towards the lower campus and the settlement of Ariel.

The Ariel University Center is a member of the International Association of Universities (IAU).[10]

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.[12][13] There is a partnership between the University of Toronto and the Ariel University on the master's degree in Business Administration (MBA).[38]

In 2008 Global Association of Risk Professionals established a branch in the University Center which conducts operator courses and international conferences in university center.[11]

In 2011 Ariel University Center and Ural Federal University signed a cooperation agreement with the Skolkovo innovation center, a high technology business area near Moscow.[39] The agreement is intended to provide Israeli companies with access to capital resources and manpower.[40] In addition, the Center serves as a representative of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences.[41][42]

Ariel University 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.[43]

Due to its location in Israeli-occupied territory, Ariel University was excluded from receiving funding as part of the Horizon 2020 research program signed between the EU and Israel in 2013.[44]

Academic boycotts

In April 2005, the British Association of University Teachers (AUT) briefly boycotted Bar-Ilan University for its academic links with the college.[45] The boycott was rescinded in May 2005.[46]

In 2009, 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 Palestinian occupied territories.[47] 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.[48]

In early 2011, 165 Israeli academics announced they were boycotting the university to protest Israeli settlement expansion.[49] They wrote in their petition, "Ariel is not part of the sovereign territory of Israel, and we therefore cannot be required to go there."[50]

Due to Ariel University's location in a settlement, it is excluded from receiving funds from the EU, the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation, and the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development. In 2018, prominent international physicists, including David Gross, Martin Rees and Ed Witten, published an open letter calling for fellow academics not to attend a conference at Ariel University, and not to participate in "attempts to normalise the occupation of Palestinian territories".[51]

Notable faculty

  • Mel Alexenberg (born 1937), artist
  • Edward Bormashenko (born 1962), 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 (1931-2013), architect
  • Dan Meyerstein (born 1938), former President of Ariel University Center of Samaria

See also


  1. ^ Ya'ar, Chana (7 August 2011). "Thousands Visit Ariel to Explore University Center Offerings". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  2. ^ Peter Stalker: A Guide to Countries of the World,
    • p. 152: "In the longer term it seems likely that the West Bank and Gaza will constitute an independent Palestine"
    • page 245,
    Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199580729
  3. ^ "It's official: Ariel University recognized". ynet. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Ariel University Center of Samaria". Ariel.ac.il. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  5. ^ Templer, B (2007) Educational Geopolitics and the 'Settler University' in Ariel Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, Volume 5, Number 2
  6. ^ "Ariel gets university status, despite opposition". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  7. ^ Nationalists Welcome Decision on Ariel University, 18 July 2012 Arutz Sheva, 18 July 2012
  8. ^ a b c "Israel's first settlement university stirs controversy". BBC. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  9. ^ "65% of Israelis support the upgrade of Ariel University, survey shows". Archived from the original on 11 June 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  10. ^ a b "IAU - International Association of Universities - the Global Voice for Higher Education". Archived from the original on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013. Member Institutions
  11. ^ a b "The GARP site at the Ariel University Center of Samaria; The academic chapter of Israel". Ariel.ac.il. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  12. ^ a b Ariel University Center of Samaria, in cooperation with academic institutions around the world
  13. ^ a b "Scientific Cooperation and Partners | Ariel University Center of Samaria | Israel". University-directory.eu. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  14. ^ Request from Ariel College to become a university turned down Archived 7 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine Walla News, 12 July 2006
  15. ^ "The Geneva Convention". BBC News. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  16. ^ "Foreign Office minister condemns new settlement". Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  17. ^ Justice Ministry Downgrades Ariel University to College Israel National News, 30 March 2008
  18. ^ Ariel College upgrades itself to 'university' status Haaretz, 2 August 2007
  19. ^ Education Council: We won't recognize degrees awarded by Ariel college Haaretz, 11 June 2008
  20. ^ Council for Higher Education: Ariel university status years away[permanent dead link] The Jerusalem Post, 21 January 2010
  21. ^ Ariel academic center recognized as first Israeli university beyond Green Line Haaretz, 17 July 2012
  22. ^ "Barak authorizes Ariel upgrade to university". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Knesset applies Israeli law to Ariel University in West Bank". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com. 12 February 2018.
  24. ^ "Students". Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  25. ^ A study in irony Haaretz, 22 June 2005
  26. ^ Arabs Studying at ‘Settler’ College Archived 24 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine Israel Today, 18 January 2006
  27. ^ "Apartheid? 600 Arabs Begin Year at Ariel U - Inside Israel - News - Arutz Sheva". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  28. ^ "Arab and Druze Students at Ariel University: There is No Racism". Palestine News Network. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  29. ^ Yair Altman (17 October 2010). "500 Arabs begin studies in Ariel: 'There's no racism here'". Ynetnews.
  30. ^ Matthew Kalman (17 November 2010). "Despite Controversy, Israeli University in West Bank Attracts Arab Students".
  31. ^ Chaim Levinson (17 August 2012). "Leftist views don't keep professors from teaching at Ariel". Haaretz.
  32. ^ "Israelis, Arabs Offer Solutions to the Conflict". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  33. ^ Right-wing, Palestinians brainstorm at Ariel parley
  34. ^ "Account Suspended". Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  35. ^ Hartford Courant. 16 July 2010 https://archive.today/20130119182947/http://www.courant.com/community/west-hartford/hc-west-hartford-professor-0718-20100716,0,1068977.story |archive-url= missing title (help). Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  36. ^ MPs question support for Ariel
  37. ^ "Conference Circuit". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  38. ^ "Google Translate". Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  39. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 December 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Your Way to Russian Silicon Valley
  40. ^ "Israel Skolkovo Gateway". Israelsk.com. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  41. ^ "Bi-national Russian-Israeli workshop". Academy.ac.il. 19 June 2005. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
  42. ^ "Ariel University Center of Samaria". Ariel.ac.il. 2 August 2006. Archived from the original on 1 November 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  43. ^ (PDF) http://www.masaisrael.org/NR/rdonlyres/25AACC4C-EA3E-4C6D-959A-C32291E628F9/93015/20112012MasaStudyAbroadCatalogue.pdf |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 25 October 2011.[permanent dead link]
  44. ^ Herb, Keinon. "Jerusalem and EU agree on formula that allows Israel to join Horizon 2020 project". Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  45. ^ "Report to members from the AUT national council". Archived from the original on 30 January 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2005.
  46. ^ "Academics vote against Israeli boycott". The Guardian. London. 26 May 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2005.
  47. ^ Spain boycotts Ariel college for being in 'occupied territory' Ynetnews.com, 22 September 2009.
  48. ^ ADL: Stop Discrimination Against Ariel University Arutz Sheva, 30 September 2009.
  49. ^ Israeli Academics to Boycott Ariel University, Huffington Post, 9 January 2011.
  50. ^ Israel academics to boycott college Aljazeera English, 9 January 2011.
  51. ^ [1]

External links

Coordinates: 32°06′17″N 35°12′34″E / 32.10472°N 35.20944°E / 32.10472; 35.20944