Center and Periphery in Israel’s Higher Education

Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


At present, students in many countries are enjoying extended opportunities for acquiring higher education, leading to increased achievements of higher education among the working class and minorities. However, a hypothesis formulated recently under the designation maximum maintained inequality (MMI) strongly rejects the assumption that the expansion of educational systems per se reduces social gaps. In fact, new educational opportunities are first utilized by less talented students who belong to privileged groups and much less by students from peripheral groups. The former, who have more considerable financial resources, are capable of better utilizing the new opportunities. Advantages stemming from social background factors help students from upper classes ensure themselves their own distinguished place. The central dominant groups retain their advantage for purposes of registration to higher education until their participation in this system reaches a saturation point. Only at this point does the expansion of education systems begin to contribute to reducing social inequality in registration.

Hence, while colleges provide less educated groups with an alternative to selective universities, the upper classes have a much greater chance of utilizing this opportunity and studying the most attractive fields. Since colleges that offer studies in these attractive fields (law, business administration, and behavioral sciences) are not subsidized by the state, tuition is very high, and members of the working class cannot afford to study there. Nonetheless, any solid conclusion on the impact the colleges have on social inequality must carefully take into consideration all the different aspects of this issue.


Center Periphery Higher education Undergraduate students Israel 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ariel UniversityArielIsrael

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