Are Israeli degrees recognized in Muslim-majority countries?

If someone gets a Ph.D. in Israel, can they work in universities in Muslim-majority countries?


I give you 3 names so that you can focus on the answer:

  1. Saudi Arabia
  2. Pakistan
  3. Malaysia

I think some countries prohibit people from entering their countries who entered Israel.

  • 18
    @Buffy, Many countries won't allow you entry if you so much as have an Israel stamp in your passport, so I suspect that declaring an Israeli degree would be a lot more serious than you think. See: highheelsandabackpack.com/… Apr 3, 2020 at 0:57
  • 3
    17% of Israelis are Muslims. 49% of Israeli Jews are secular. The statement that "a religious person would find it very difficult to practice in some places." does not seem particularly specific to moving from Israel to a Muslim country. Imagine being a Muslim trying to find Halal food in rural America, or Jew trying to find Kosher food in rural America. Apr 3, 2020 at 3:57
  • 10
    @Gimelist, I know that one can get the stamp on a removable page to avoid the problem. The point is, if Iran officially refuses entry simply because you have visited Israel, they certainly aren't going to say "You spent several years in Israel getting your degree, but you didn't actually visit Israel, so come on in.". Apr 3, 2020 at 13:01
  • 2
    I've always wondered about these kinds of questions. Similarly, are Taiwanese degrees unrecognized in the PRC and vice versa? Similarly, if I get a PhD in Crimea, am I going to have a great deal of difficulty getting a postdoc in Kiev or are universities there pretty much live-and-let-live? Jun 18, 2021 at 11:19
  • 2
    This question is vague and poorly written. It would be a lot more clear if it said “countries that ban travel from Israel” instead of “Muslim-majority.” Jun 18, 2021 at 13:37

3 Answers 3


"Islamic-majority countries" are a fairly heterogenous group and the answer is unlikely to be the same across all of them.

Turkey and Albania, both Islamic-majority countries, are signatory to the Lisbon Recognition Convention which would seem to imply a default recognition of Israeli degrees.

  • 4
    And there are certainly examples of people who got their PhD in Israel (e.g. Tel Aviv), and then a university job in Turkey.
    – Anyon
    Apr 3, 2020 at 1:03
  • 2
    Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, also are Muslim majority signatories. Jun 18, 2021 at 13:24
  • 1
    @NoahSnyder: That is not correct. These are majority secular countries with large Russian part of population.
    – markvs
    Jun 21, 2021 at 8:37
  • 1
    @MarkSapir: Kazakhstan used to have a Russian majority, but hasn’t since shortly after the end of the Soviet era. They all have clear Muslim majorities according to recent census results. They may well be “more secular” than Muslims in some other countries, but they do identify as Muslim. (Also while I’m at it, Bosnia’s at a hair over 50%.) Jun 21, 2021 at 13:22

I believe that for the countries you mention, the answer would be no. (To the best of my knowledge,) These countries do not allow people whose passport is stamped with an Israeli stamp to enter their country (check, e.g., here). I believe studying in Israel would be a red flag that would not to be overlooked by these countries.

However, other (Muslim/Arab) countries have peace-agreements with Israel, e.g., Jordan, Egypt, and UAE. I know of some academic relations between Israeli universities and UAE universities and I believe student exchange between these two countries are only a matter of time. Also, countries relationships do evolve and peace agreements might extend to many other countries in the short/long term, possibly including Saudi-Arabia and others (I'm less optimistic about Pakistan or Iran, but who knows).

To the best of my knowledge, students from any country are very welcomed in Israeli universities. However, getting the legal permissions (VISA, etc.) and going back to the home-countries might be a big issue. (I heard of people who arrive into Israel without official papers, e.g., with a "travel authorization" instead of a passport, but these cases are very rare).

  • I do not see the relevance of the passport stamp rule; countries that do not let people with an Israeli stamp in know that Israel does not require visitors to get a stamp. This is a deliberate loophole. Jun 18, 2021 at 12:45
  • 6
    @AnonymousPhysicist This loophole can be used as long as the officials have a graceful way to look to the other direction. As said in my reply, it is my option that staying several years in Israel, and having a PHD from an Israeli institute will be too much to be overlooked. I don't think previous such cases exist and this is possibly another (weak) indication.
    – Ran G.
    Jun 18, 2021 at 13:43

Maybe Muslim majority is not the right classification here. I know that there are visa issues between some Arab majority nations and Israel. A friend couldn't enter an arabic country (maybe Egypt? not sure though) for a business reason because he had an Isreal stamp on his passport. There is some information online about this. (needs fact checking)

While the state of Israel is a member of the United Nations, and has been at peace with both Jordan and Egypt for four decades now (and travel between these three is no problem), several Muslim-majority and Arab nations do not recognize the existence of the state of Israel and deny admission to anybody who is Israeli or shows any evidence of having been to Israel (e.g. visa (stamps) in a passport). On the reverse, travel to Israel with evidence in your passport of travel to one of the countries mentioned below is usually no problem, but you may be selected for especially intense questioning or scrutiny at the border or airport. Source

Since Turkey is mentioned anecdotally perhaps its nuances should be adressed. As far as I am aware, a significant portion of universities in Turkey are public with massive government control over them. Erdogan has been a big critic of Isreal for a long time. Erdogan also is acused with academic purges 1 2 3 4. Mind you that if you look closely these purges were done under a state of emergency and people's jobs were suspended or lost without even a criminal indictment. Time has shown as an overwhelming majority of these suspensions were baseless. Long story short, I can't say with confidence that this would never cause an issue in Turkey.

  • can you reflect on those 3 specific countries I pointed out?
    – user366312
    Apr 27, 2020 at 1:59
  • @user366312 I can't. I would guess it would be less of a problem in Saudi Arabia but other than that I have nothing. Apr 27, 2020 at 9:37

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