Safed College

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Michlala of Safed
Village of Biriya
המכללה האקדמית צפת
Other Names:
Tzfat Academic College, Safed Michlala, Tzfat Mechina, Tzfat College,
Tzfat Branch of Bar Ilan University.

Safed residents, people from the surrounding areas and even students from outside of the Tzfat region find college-level study opportunities at the Tzfat College. It has a very high ratio of Arab students which has led to outrage from the population of the strictly Jewish inhabited city of Tfat.


[edit] History

The old Rothschild Hospital building near the entrance to Tzfat was built in 1910 to provide medical service to local Jewish residents whose only other medical options at the time were provided by Scottish missionaries at the Scottish Hospital. The hospital continued to serve Tzfat residents until the Ziv Hospital opened in 1973. The old stone building stood empty and in its place the Tzfat Academic College opened to serve post-high-school-aged students of the region. Actually this building was a secular high school called Tichon Eyuni in the 1970's. At the time there were 3 high schools, a religious one, a vocational one and this one.

[edit] Programs

One of the Safed Michlala buildings.
The Tzfat Academic College offers a wide variety of programs for students who wish to study for a degree program or simply increase their educational level.

[edit] Mechina

The “Mechina” -- preparatory program -- provides a framework for students to complete their high school requirements and prepare for their matriculation examinations. Many students wait until after their army service to complete these courses while others study at the Mechina in order to improve the grades on their matriculation tests from when they first took them in high school. Acceptance to an Israeli college or university is partially dependent on these scores.

[edit] Michlalat Bar Ilan

The Michlala/Bar Ilan University was established in the early ‘80s as a regional branch of the Bar Ilan University. Courses offered in Tzfat follow the syllabus of the identical courses offered at the main Bar Ilan campus in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, and graduates receive diplomas from the Bar Ilan University. Michlelet Bar Ilan opened a law school in 2009 and a medical school in 2011 and the michlala also offers courses in the humanities. Students can find undergraduate and graduate studies at the school.

[edit] Tzfat Academic College

The Michlala was declared a full-fledged regional college by the Education Authority and, in addition to the Bar Ilan degrees, also grants degrees in social work, education, the sciences, music, art and literature.

[edit] Population

As of the 2011-2012 academic year the Michlala had 2,300 students registered for university-level studies as well as another 350 students who were studying at a college preparatory level. Students attend the college from Tzfat and the surrounding villages, towns and small settlements. The student body is believed to be mostly Arab which has led to outrage of the local residents who question the wisdom of bringing Arab students into the all Jewish city. Arab students from the Tzfat College even started renting apartments in the area and also created a number of cases of intermarriage, which have further increased the tension.

The Michlala attempts to meet the various needs of the students, including students who come from the “Haredi” -- ultra-Orthodox -- sector. There are special programs of study for Ethiopian immigrants which help them to catch up to Israeli students as they prepare for university-level studies.

[edit] Staffing

The staff of the Michlala includes instructors who come to teach from various areas of northern Israel. Instructors must meet the criteria of the Bar Ilan University to be accepted to teach. These credentials include the necessity for a graduate degree in their field of study. Many instructors have a PhDs.

[edit] Scholarships

Most of the students at the Michlala acquired scholarships which enable them to attend college. There are general scholarships that are open to all as well as specialized scholarships for newly-released soldiers, Ethiopian immigrants, students who are studying specialized courses of study, Haredi students, Arab students and students studying art and music. Michlala students may also participate in the “Perech” program which refunds part of their tuition in return for community service.



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