Differences between Students of Jewish and Arab Origin in Reasons for Deciding to Study

Oz Guterman, Efrat Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Academic studies play a central role in determining socioeconomic status in Western society. Nevertheless, most research had focused on factors of academic achievement and paid less attention to factors of actual registration for academic studies. Reasons for choosing to enrol in academic studies are particularly important for understanding majority and minority group differences in rates of registration for such studies and helping promote ethnic groups. The present research, conducted with undergraduate students in Israel, examined differences between students of Jewish and Arab origin in terms of their reasons for undertaking studies. First, qualitative interviews were held with 50 students from the two groups about their reasons for choosing to study. Based on thematic analysis of the interviews, a quantitative questionnaire was developed. It was administered to 367 students from the two groups. The data indicate several differences between the groups, but also reveal opposite directions of correlations in the two groups, corresponding with different family situations. Some possible explanations are suggested for the associations of the groups, family status, and reasons for studying, and the theoretical and methodological implications of these associations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-137
Number of pages19
JournalEducation and Urban Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© The Author(s) 2021.


  • academic achievements
  • extrinsic and social factors
  • minority
  • non-traditional students
  • reasons for studying


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