The report is submitted on behalf of the Arab Economic Forum in collaboration with the Rupin Academic Center.

This report was produced with the generous support of the Emergency Committee (Relief Society 48)


At the end of 2019, the corona virus spread around the world. Many countries, including Israel, have declared a state of emergency and announced restrictions and guidelines aimed at implementing the principle of social distancing, which is intended to slow the spread of the disease (Somech, Miari and Masterman, 2020). These restrictions led to drastic social and economic changes in the world and in Israel.

One of the main arenas affected by the corona epidemic is the higher education system: the academy closed its doors, and the students and lecturers had to adapt to a new reality and switch to a distance learning format, i.e. virtual studies. The transition from face-to-face studies to virtual studies in the Israeli higher education system affected the students in general, and the Arab students in particular, and revealed the economic-social-educational neglect policy of the Arab society over the years.

The purpose of the current work is to highlight the various barriers and challenges facing Arab students in the Israeli academy following the Corona crisis, and to suggest possible courses of action to deal with these challenges. The difficulties that were discovered in the field of higher education among students from the Arab society during the Corona crisis are not new, but have been exacerbated against the background of this crisis, the gaps that existed from the beginning have been exposed and have deepened. The current report therefore suggests that the treatment of the problems should be two-fold: a holistic treatment of the factors that led to the educational inequality between Jews and Arabs in the first place, along with the construction of a set of specific and adapted services to immediately treat difficulties in the shadow of the Corona crisis. In order to offer knowledge in the field, applicable courses of action and effective methods of action, we reviewed the professional literature in the field, examined a wide variety of social surveys, reports on behalf of the Vat and the MLA, and relevant academic studies published by the institutions of higher education in Israel.

The document shows an increase in the rate of participation of the Arab population in the Israeli academy as part of a comprehensive social change process, including an increase in awareness among Arab families regarding the importance of higher education as a promoter of socio-economic leadership, in addition to the development of the holistic program and the allocation of considerable resources invested by the Committee for Planning and Budgeting the Higher Education System on the subject. The report refers to the characteristics of the Arab students on the eve of the Corona crisis; the ongoing effects of the crisis on the Arab students; the academic, social and personal barriers they face that existed before and from the changes that took place in the higher education system and the transition to online learning; the opportunities that can and should be used for the benefit of the improvement and advancement of Arab students following the crisis; And finally, recommendations are made for possible courses of action and the accuracy of the services that exist today.

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