Ben-Gurion University President Rivka Carmi announced that starting next year a special track will be opened in which students from the Arab sector will be accepted without the need for a psychometric test.
Currently, every student applying to the university must pass a psychometric test, unless they apply for certain faculties or have an average matriculation examination grade of over 90. Roughly, the grade a student receives on his psychometric exam, whose maximum grade is 800, and his matriculation (bagrut) exam average determine in what faculty the student may study, with some majors, such as mathematics and physics, requiring the student to have taken advanced matriculation exams in those fields. The universities have formulas for combining the two grades. To enter a teacher-training program, for example, a student must earn a combined average of 550, while those wishing to be social workers must have a combined average of 645, and those seeking to enter medical school 737. Demand also plays a part in deciding on the average needed.
In a letter to Ben-Gurion University, MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) slammed Carmi's decision.
"Those involved with equality and human rights repeatedly discriminate against citizens who serve and contribute to the State of Israel," he wrote. "Is the blood of the Arab student receiving relief more red than the blood of new immigrants, discharged soldiers or any other student coming from a low socioeconomic background?"
"It is impossible to talk about special tracks exempt from psychometric exams without taking into consideration new immigrants, those who come from a low socioeconomic background or those who have served in the military or national service and whose studies have been postponed for several years because of their service.
"I wrote a letter to the president of the university, demanding that she include other populations in the new track that she opened. "