Higher education in the Arab sector in Israel is taking a step forward. The signing ceremony of the agreement on the establishment of a branch of Texas A&M University in Nazareth at the cost of $70 million was held [Oct. 23] at the residence of President Shimon Peres, with the participation of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas A&M chancellor John Sharp, Minister of Education Shai Piron, and Manuel Trajtenberg, chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel.
The best part of the investment required for the establishment of a new university campus in Nazareth will be provided by Texas A&M University. The new campus — to be called the "Peace Campus" — is scheduled to open its gates in October 2015 and to offer higher education to Jews, Arabs, Muslims and Christians from Israel and around the world.
Texas A&M University is the sixth-largest university in the United States, with an annual budget of $3.3 billion.
Perry said at the ceremony that Israel and the school "are a great match, built on family values, commitment and tradition, and these are the very same values on which this university will be founded. We see the campus in Nazareth as a means of maintaining peace and understanding between cultures. We would like to have students and faculty members of a variety of religions and from different nationalities in our classrooms, while providing an opportunity for every student to learn about the world and to come to know the potential it holds.”
Sharp noted, “We have been working for years to promote the project, and it is an achievement of which we are extremely proud. We are committed to make this university one of the best, open to all, international universities.”