Diversity at TAU
A Microcosm of Israeli Society
As Israel’s largest and most comprehensive institute of higher education, Tel Aviv University is a microcosm of the diverse human tapestry that comprises greater Israeli society.
At TAU, Jewish students and faculty learn and work alongside their Arab counterparts; students from Israel’s central region come together with those from Israel’s outlying communities; ultra-Orthodox students study together with secular students in non-segregated classrooms; and immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia rub shoulders with Israeli-born Sabras.
The University prizes the rich pluralism of identities, cultures, religions, worldviews, and socio-economic backgrounds that make up its institutional fiber. With that, TAU President Professor Ariel Porat has prioritized further promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus among the over 30,000 students, academic faculty, and administration.
Through diversity, the University fosters a culture of visibility, openness, and tolerance. This helps bridge longstanding social and economic gaps, all while contributing to greater academic opportunities and collaboration for the betterment of overall Israeli society.
Select key points on diversity at Tel Aviv University include:
- In recent years, TAU boosted the number of Israeli Arab students from 8-9% of the total undergraduate student body to 16%.
- The number of Israeli students of Ethiopian descent at TAU rose from some 45 in the mid-2000’s to 145 students today, representing an increase of over 300%. To date, over 450 students of Ethiopian origin have studied throughout the years at TAU.
- The University’s pioneering Periphery Program serves a vital role in boosting accessibility to higher education among young Israelis from disadvantaged backgrounds and outlying communities. The Periphery Program has produced over 400 graduates to date, many of whom are first-generation university students. Currently, 40 students join the Periphery Program every year.
- Tel Aviv University makes every effort to support and provide access to its approximately 1,800 students with disabilities and special needs, including through the Mia and Miles Pinkas Accessible Learning Center.
- Since its 2016 inception, TAU’s “Trailblazers” program for integrating graduates of the Haredi education system into academia has grown from two students in its first year to over 150 ultra-Orthodox (and former ultra-Orthodox) students today. Demonstrating the Program’s growing popularity, enrollment for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year is already double last year’s figures.
- TAU recently established, for the first time at an Israeli university, a new Equality and Diversity Commission to address all aspects of equality and diversity on campus (within TAU faculty, administration, and student body), including minorities (Arab, Druze, Bedouin etc.), first-generation university students, people with disabilities, the LGBT community, members of the Israeli-Ethiopian community, gender inclusion, and the ultra-Orthodox.
- The University hosts over 3,000 international students each year, hailing from a multitude of diverse countries across the globes, including China, India, Turkey, and Denmark.
- Women comprise 58% of the PhD students at TAU, while over 130 women complete their doctoral degrees at the University each year.