The population in the Galilee numbers around 1.2 million people, 17% of the entire population of Israel. 43% of Israel's small communities (2,000 – 10,000 people) are located in the Galilee, including 129 kibbutzim, half of all the kibbutzim in Israel. The Galilee is also a multi-ethnic region. Arabs make up 19% of Israel's population, but constitute 53% of the population in the Galilee.
Since ancient times, the Galilee has always been a strategic asset, having a thriving economy and a flourishing civilization. Today, as one of the last remaining sparsely populated green areas in the country, it has enormous potential for growth and development. The region is far from being an affluent part of Israel. One third of the total population of the Galilee lives below the poverty line. The north, characterized by a mosaic of cultures and religions, suffers from higher unemployment than the national average and from lower average wages for both self employed and salaried employees.
Western Galilee College's mission is to provide high quality academic degrees which will attract students both from this region and other areas . One of its goals is to become an initiator of new fields of study, based on the geographical and historical uniqueness of the area and tapping into the wealth of knowledge and talent of its residents.
By providing programs of study, which are attractive as well as practical, the College aims to encourage capable individuals to study, settle and stay in the north.
The College is committed to the community and the region and as such, it offers a platform for positive change, by bringing higher education to a population removed geographically and psychologically from the center of the country. It brings new opportunity to those who otherwise would not be able to experience higher education. As a leader for change, the College opened its gates in 1972, providing professional courses and diplomas to students from the region, regardless of their religious, cultural and socio-economic background. In 1994, the College gained accreditation from the Council for Higher Education and this tremendous breakthrough enabled students to register for undergraduate academic degrees.
In July 2009, following the recommendation of the Council for Higher Education and the decision of the Government of Israel, Western Galilee College has been recognized as an independent academic institution and has permission to develop its own programs and award degrees in areas of study which have been approved by the Council. The first two programs which have been approved are a B.A. in Conservation of Sites and Monuments and a B.A. in Criminology.
Currently ,4500 students study at the College, including Jews, Muslims, Druze and Christians from surrounding cities, suburbs, kibbutzim, community settlements and villages .
Located in Akko, 25 kilometers north of Haifa, five minutes away from the Mediterranean Sea, with convenient road and train access, the Western Galilee College's location has proved to be an asset, attracting students from all walks of life.