TAU approves new admission requirements for underrepresented populations

Photo: Chen Galili.

Ten percent of students admitted to School of Medicine will come from underrepresented sectors

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A new Tel Aviv University (TAU) program will strive to increase the numbers of students from underrepresented populations admitted to its School of Medicine. According to the new plan, 10% of all those admitted to the first year of the six-year track will come from four underrepresented groups: haredim, Ethiopian Israelis, outstanding students from the social and geographic peripheries, and individuals with high potential. In addition, these applicants will enjoy adapted requirements and admission tests, especially in non-cognitive tests and personality assessments.

The decision to launch the new program was made jointly by TAU’s Faculty of Medicine, Registration Unit, Dean of Student Services, and Equity, Diversity & Community Commission.

Officials at the Faculty of Medicine explain that even though adaptations for special populations have been made in the past, the quota was smaller and even this usually remained unfilled, partly because no mobility was allowed between the different groups. In addition, the customary admission tests posed a substantial barrier for many of these candidates. Now it is hoped that with the new adaptations all quotas will be filled, promoting social diversity at the Faculty.

“To remove any doubt, it must be emphasized that all candidates admitted to the School must meet all academic requirements,” notes Professor Ido Wolf, Head of the School of Medicine. “Adaptations will only be made in non-cognitive national tests, in which we have found that individuals from these groups have lower chances for success. We have no doubt that these candidates can and will do well in their studies and become excellent physicians, as expected from all alumni of TAU’s School of Medicine.”

“Medicine is above all a social profession,” adds Professor Karen Avraham, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. “We take care of people’s physical, emotional, and social needs. Israel is a multicultural society, and in order to provide personalized care, medical teams must be familiar with the entire spectrum of Israeli society.”

“I am very happy about this new effort to increase the number of medical students from underrepresented groups,” Professor Neta Ziv, VP for Equity, Diversity & Community, says. “Excellent candidates admitted to the School of Medicine will eventually enhance diversity in the medical profession. With the 2023-24 academic year coming up, TAU is making great efforts to admit more students from Israel’s social and geographic peripheries, the Ethiopian Israeli community, and the haredi education system as part of its commitment to academic excellence coupled with equal opportunity.”

"Israel is a multicultural society, and in order to provide personalized care, medical teams must be familiar with the entire spectrum of Israeli society."