Bid to boost ultra-Orthodox student numbers

A programme geared towards integrating the ultra-Orthodox into Israeli universities has been set in motion and will increase the number of Haredi academics by 50% over the next three years, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced last weekend, writes Asher Zeiger for The Times of Israel.

Addressing the weekly cabinet meeting, Sa’ar described the initiative, according to which 12 academic frameworks specifically adapted to the ultra-Orthodox community will operate throughout the country. These centres, Sa’ar said, would provide a setting in which students could study art, electrical engineering, architecture, computer science and electronics, while enjoying an environment that was sensitive to their religious needs.

Recent years have seen clamorous demands from Israel’s secular and national Orthodox for the ultra-Orthodox to join the military and workforce en masse, contributing taxes and fulfilling the same obligations as other Israeli citizens. However, because a relatively small percentage of the ultra-Orthodox receive a university education, generally opting for religious studies in yeshiva instead, those who do try to enter the work force often face disadvantages.
Full report on The Times of Israel site