Better Together

TAU Diversity Fact Sheet 2023

Better Together (Photo: Rafael Ben-Menashe)

As Israel’s largest and most comprehensive institute of higher education, Tel Aviv University is a microcosm of the diverse human tapestry that comprises greater Israeli society.


Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

At TAU, Jewish and Arab students and faculty learn and work together; students from Israel’s central region come together with those from outlying cities; ultra-Orthodox students and secular students study together and immigrants and descendants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia rub shoulders with Israeli-born Sabras.


Tel Aviv University prizes the rich pluralism of identities, cultures, religions, worldviews, and socio-economic backgrounds that make up its institutional fiber. With that, TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat has prioritized further promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion on campus among the over 30,000 students, academic faculty and administration.


Through diversity, the University fosters a culture of visibility, openness and tolerance. This helps bridge longstanding social and economic gaps, contributing to greater academic opportunities and collaboration for the betterment of overall Israeli society.


How Do We Promote Diversity on Campus? 

  • In recent years, TAU boosted the number of Israeli Arab students from 8-9% of the total undergraduate student body to 16%.
  • The number of Israeli students of Ethiopian descent at TAU rose from some 45 in 2005 to 156 students today, representing an increase of over 300%. To date, over 450 students of Ethiopian origin have studied throughout the years at TAU.
  • The University’s pioneering Periphery Program serves a vital role in boosting accessibility to higher education among young Israelis from disadvantaged backgrounds and outlying communities. Founded in 2005, the mission of the Program is to build leadership in Israeli society. The Program has produced over 400 graduates to date, many of whom are first-generation university students. Currently, 40 students join the Periphery Program every year.
  • Since its 2016 inception, TAU’s ‘Trailblazers’ program for integrating graduates of the Haredi education system into academia has grown from two students in its first year to over 150 ultra-Orthodox (and former ultra-Orthodox) students today. Demonstrating the Program’s growing popularity, enrolment for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year is already double last year’s figures.
  • TAU recently established, for the first time at an Israeli university, a new Equality and Diversity Commission to address all aspects of equality and diversity on campus (within TAU faculty, administration, and student body), including minorities (Arab, Druze, Bedouin etc.), first-generation university students, people with disabilities, the LGBT community, members of the Israeli-Ethiopian community, gender inclusion, and the ultra-Orthodox.


WATCH: Prof. Neta Ziv TAU Equality and Diversity Commissioner on making the most of TAU’s Diversity


  • In the 2019-20 academic year, women comprised 52% of PhD students at TAU, while over 130 women complete their doctoral degrees at the University each year.


As part of developing infrastructure as a multicultural shared space, Tel Aviv University annually conducts workshops for both academic and administrative staff on a variety of topics. These trainings aim to instill diverse values within the campus community and enhance its ability to address challenges effectively.


Specific training programs have been tailored as follows:


  1. Transitioning from a Diverse to an Inclusive Campus (for administrative staff) – This workshop focuses on equipping administrative personnel with practical tools for fostering inclusion, drawing from theories in social psychology, management, and related fields.
  2. Effective Teaching in a Diverse Classroom (for academic staff) – This workshop equips academic staff with a set of skills and tools to enhance students' sense of belonging in the classroom, while empowering instructors to amplify their unique voices.
  3. Navigating a Diverse Classroom During Times of Conflict (for academic staff) – This workshop provides a safe platform for faculty members to address dilemmas and uncertainties. It enables lecturers to reflect on their roles within the classroom, define the boundaries of classroom discourse, and manage discussions effectively through focused scenarios and diagnostic tools that facilitate critical dialogue.


While celebrating these achievements, we remain committed to ongoing improvement, striving to ensure that our campus becomes a place where everyone feels a sense of belonging.


To learn more about our policy, please review our Equity & Diversity Policy Statement .

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