Technion doesn't want to accept new immigrants

Elite academic institution raises required score for Hebrew proficiency exam, makes it nearly impossible for new immigrants to get accepted.

Tags: Olim Technion
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Technion Computer Science building
Technion Computer Science building
Creative Commons

The Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) has raised the acceptable score for the YAEL Hebrew proficiency exam to 113 points (out of a possible 150) instead of the current 105.

Only a few years ago, the lowest acceptable score was 95.

Starting from the current academic year, students who are not native speakers will have a more difficult time getting accepted to the prestigious institution. This is especially true for immigrants to Israel, also called "olim hadashim," many of whom will now find acceptance to the Technion a virtually impossible goal.

Many educators and professionals have specifically stated olim cannot earn such a high score on their Hebrew proficiency test, even after several years of ulpan.

Current Technion immigrant students who are in their third or fourth year of studies were also not able to pass the exam when they attempted to do so. However, their inability to pass the YAEL does not correlate with their success at their studies in the Technion.

Miriam Laser, from the French organization Qualita which helps French nationals immigrate thrive in Israel said, "This is a step with clear implications: The Technion does not want to allow new immigrants to study in its classrooms. This is clear discrimination. In the past two years, French immigrants have constituted the largest contingent of new olim. We will fight for every oleh and we will do our best to absorb them in the best way possible, but the Technion is preventing our most talented students from developing their potential."

"It's a slap in the face for Zionism and the State of Israel. Israel needs engineers, researchers and scientists, and the proof is that, today, Israel is absorbing new immigrants without any strategic plan to allow either the immigrants or the State to benefit. We call on the Prime Minister's office and on the Minister of Immigration and Absorption to do what it necessary to allow new immigrants to study in the Technion. If the situation does not change, the State of Israel will lose many valuable immigrants from countries such as Canada and Australia when they find there are better options for academic studies outside of Israel, and we will all lose out," she concluded.

Rimon Cohen Shienkman contributed to this story.