A group.of Arab political figures and academicians plan to open the first Arab University in the Israel-administered territories next year, despite opposition from the Jordanian government. Dr. Salem Nashef, Dean of the Tulkarem Agricultural School, said today that the new university will be located in Ramallah and would open its doors for the 1974-75 academic year.
Dr. Nashef is a member of a committee of West Bank Arabs headed by Hebron Mayor Sheikh Mohammed Ali el-Jaabari, which is planning the university. He said the university would open with a faculty in the humanities to be followed by a science faculty. Dr. Nashef said the Israeli authorities have agreed to the appointment of Palestinians now living outside the country to the university’s faculty. He said the future board of directors hoped to receive support from various Arab governments but failing that “we can confidently look to other quarters for funds and endowments that will enable us to construct, equip and maintain the campus.”
Dr. Nashef was a guest today of Tel Aviv University’s “Shiloah” Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. He reported that Arab education on the West Bank has expanded under the Israeli administration since 1967. According to Dr. Nashef, 90 percent of children between 6-15 now receive an elementary education, a much higher percentage than under the Jordanian regime. He said that although one-third of the West Bank population fled during the Six-Day War, the number of matriculants has risen since then from 3500 to 14,500.