'They don’t really know what they’re getting into': the impact of neoliberal and colonial policies within Israeli institutions of higher education on Palestinian Jerusalemite students

Rawan Asali Nuseibeh, Aviv Cohen, Zvi Bekerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study presents the case of Palestinian students from East Jerusalem studying at the education department at a major Israeli University. We conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with nineteen Palestinian students. The study found that the government’s neoliberal and colonial policies in East Jerusalem influence the students’ motivation, available options and the ability to compete within Israeli institutions of higher education. Furthermore, once the students manage to penetrate Israeli institutions of higher education, they are disillusioned with the experiences they are offered, they do not manage to study the fields that they desire and they are not offered sufficient support within the institution. We contend that this failure on the institutional level to address issues of multiculturalism and Indigenous populations’ unique needs makes the university complicit in maintaining a cultural and epistemic hierarchy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Critical race theory
  • East Jerusalem
  • higher education policy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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