Haredim flocking to academia, but with high dropout rates

Haredim are flocking to academia, according to a Taub Center report, but still suffer from a high dropout rate.

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Yoel Domb,

Haredi students
Haredi students
Arutz Sheva

The annual report of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies states that haredim are flocking to academia in the past few years.

According to the report, between 2008 and 2014 there was a threefold increase in the number of haredim registering to study in academic institutions, from 1,222 to 3,227.

In 2014, 1600 haredi women and 450 haredi men successfuly completed their academic studies, as opposed to 650 women and 200 men in 2012.

Despite the significant growth in those studying academic disciplines, the number of haredim- especially men- holding degrees is still very low. In 2014 just 2.5% of haredi men and 8% of haredi women in the 25-35 age group hold academic degrees as opposed to 28% of secular men and 43% of secular women holding academic qualifications in this age group.

The report states that 58% of haredi students drop out of academic studies. A large proportion of these students study in colleges (mainly on haredi campuses) and in the Open University where the academic requirements are high but enrollment is open to everyone. A small proportion of students study in universities.

The authors of the report believe that the large proportion of dropouts is due to the fact that the haredi students did not learn the core curriculum during their adolescent years and this harms their ability to complete an academic degree. "It appears that without an improvement in this area the dropout levels will stay high. In particular in the field of English studies there is a difference of 20 percentage points between the results of haredim and secular students as opposed to mathematics where there is a 6-7 point gap and verbal comprehension where the results are the same. With proper academic preparation in a preparatory program and a supportive learning environment, the chances of academic success will significantly improve for haredim," concludes the report.