Sixty-five percent of the public supports the recent government decision to
recognize Ariel University as the nation’s eighth university, according to a
Geocartography survey released on Thursday.
Only 15% categorically oppose
The survey, which sampled 500 respondents aged 18 or
older, showed that 76% of the public believes that other universities in Israel
oppose Ariel’s new status because of irrelevant considerations: 42% of them said
it was for political reasons, 27% attributed it to economic interests and 7%
believe that the “club” of universities simply does not want to accept
More than half of the people surveyed agreed with the
statement that presidents of universities in Israel oppose the recognition of
Ariel University because they wish to remain a small and elitist
Only 14% of the respondents think that the universities’
opposition is related to concerns for students and the level of teaching in
Israeli higher education.
As to Ariel’s location in Samaria, while only
30% think that there is no connection between the fact that the university is
located across the Green Line and the opposition to its recognition, close to
two-thirds of the public believes that if Ariel University was located within the
Green Line, it would not have faced so many difficulties in the process of its
In addition, the data showed that 69% of Israelis agree that
the establishment of new universities will allow more people from weak
socioeconomic backgrounds to access higher education.
The same proportion
of people agreed that the establishment of more universities strengthens the
country in terms of research and academia, and 57% agreed that new universities
in Israel can help solve the brain drain problem.