The “Access for All” program provides access to the center of power and public knowledge -the University- for all people; especially those who have no other way to reach this knowledge center. Universities all over Israel open their gates to weakened populations and enable them to acquire essential and practical education. “Access for All” strives to promote an equal society by enabling each individual to realize themselves and to become a meaningful citizen of the community.
The program’s mission is to open the doors of Israel’s elite universities and allow them to share their knowledge and resources with disadvantaged populations in Israel.
The program’s participants, adults and youth, are referred to the program by the welfare authorities, and study in unique introductory courses tailored for them in the academic fields of medicine, law, business and psychology, taught by outstanding undergraduate students. The participants arrive from complicated socio-economical background, after dropping out of other educational environments, and suffer from major knowledge gaps. The program provides them with basic practical knowledge in order to enable them to cope their joy of learning, and to provide them with the will and tools to keep on studying and progressing.
The courses are taught by outstanding undergraduate students, who receive academic credit for their work based on the belief that academic education should include, encourage, and initiate the students’ social involvement. Furthermore, the weekly studies in the campus provide an experience of mutual exposure and learning between the participants and the students and their worldviews, thus generating a dialog between populations who rarely meet in Israel.
The “Access for All” operational model enables the utilization and leveraging of the knowledge gathered in the university, its enormous personal resources – its students and staff, and its physical infrastructure – its classroom, all during the evening hours, when the ‘standard’ academic operation is over. In order to minimize obstructions in the participants’ arrival to the program, they arrive at the university via organized transportation, and upon arriving receive a light meal comprised of a sandwich and a drink. The uniqueness of this operational model is not only in its success to increase accessibility to education for the entire population, but also in being based on a ‘thin’ cost structure which leads to a high social return compared with the required budgetary investment.
The program was founded by MK Dr. Adi Koll and has been operating in the Tel Aviv University since 2005, in the Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva since 2010, in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem since 2013 and in the Haifa University as of 2014. Today, 2,300 participants and 94 students are participating in the program in 4 universities all over Israel.