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The Unit for Advancing Equal Opportunities, Excellence, and Diversity


Today more than ever, as a result of the drastic growth in the number of students in higher education, maintaining diversity in the student population is one of the central missions of the world’s leading academic institutions. Institutions of the world’s first tier strive today not only for excellence but for “inclusive excellence”*. As per this approach, universities need to promise not only access to higher education for disadvantaged and minorities, but also to work to create learning conditions that will enable success and excellence among all students, regardless of gender, cultural, linguistic, physiological, and socio-economic differences.


Diversity is especially important on a global scale, in all fields of research and education: scientific research, political activity, the artistic realm and more. Varied and diverse perspectives have become necessary to understand the problems humanity faces, and to find their solutions. Diversity conceals a potentially valuable asset, which will be realized if and only if the idea of true equal opportunities will be actualized. The benefit of this was discussed in NASA:


"To design the most effective systems, NASA must have a diversity of views, ideas, and perspectives. This requires taking into account all the possible sets of training and experience that come from people of different backgrounds and life experiences. It is the widest diversity of viewpoints and considerations that go into making good technical solutions for NASA." -- NASA Policy Statement on Diversity, March 20, 2006


The goal of the Unit for Advancing Equal Opportunities, Excellence, and Diversity is to allow students from minority populations to overcome difficulties unique to them, and to realize their inherent academic potential on their way to academic excellence - from the preparatory stage, and through their doctorate studies.


*For more information about the Association of American Colleges and Universities, click here: http://www.aacu.org/inclusive_excellence/index.cfm

 


In July, 2007, Mr. Yuval Ivri submitted to the university’s incumbent president, Prof. Menachem Megidor, a report entitled, “Facing the Periphery: The Representation of Periphery Students at the Hebrew University." Based on official statistics and an academic study of the issue of access to higher education in Israel, Ivri indicated the under-representation of students from the periphery in Israeli universities in general, and at the Hebrew University in particular. 
Under-representation in the Hebrew University is expressed, among others, by the low percentage of periphery students who study in the preparatory programs for higher education, which even decreases as we ascend the ladder of academic degrees. According to Ivri, support for the value of equal opportunities needs to be expressed via actions on the university’s part for granting access to higher education. National systemic policies aimed towards amplifying the periphery students' access to studies at the Hebrew University should be adopted through specially designed assistance programs and support networks.
In light of the report’s conclusions, Professor Megidor decided to launch the unit, “Facing the Periphery.” Our aim is to increase the percentage of students from the periphery who study at the Hebrew University at every level - from the preparatory programs, and through their doctorate studies.

 
Our Programs

Summer Course: English and B.A Prep
Students who have signed up to start their B.A with English level 2 can join a summer course for English level 2 and preparation for the B.A studies.  The course will help in the English requirements for the B.A, and will provide tools to help cope with the first year of studies, including academic writing and thinking.

Academic Study Groups
First-year student study groups led by excelling second/third-year students for assistance and excellence in studying, 1.5-2 weekly hours

Academic Assistance
One to four weekly hours of assistance from a student in the same faculty of education. Content and time allotted for assistance is determined by the student, and can include (but is not limited to) language assistance (Hebrew, English, and other languages).

Social Activism-Based Scholarships
Students with an 85+ average who receive Pais, Perach, Eshkol, or Shachak (Minhal HaStudentim) scholarships can choose to fulfill their volunteer requirements by assisting other students in their faculty of education.

Volunteering
Students with an 85+ average can volunteer in the university by assisting other students in their faculty of education.

Personal Guidance and Counseling
Assistance in coping with dilemmas as a student, and guidance in turning to the various options available through the university, in three aspects: personal course-planning, dealing with various departments in the university; academic tutoring and assistance; and financial scholarship search and applications.

Workshop: Motivation to Apply for an LL.M
A unique guiding and enriching program that will assist B.A students in their last year of studies who are motivated to continue their studies and receive an M.A.  The program is designed with a personal guidance counselor who will guide and direct the student in his/her studies, and provide tools which will assist the learning process.



Moti Amir: equality.huji@gmail.com

Rivka Gilad: equality.academic@gmail.com

 

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