Today in Tablet, Liel Leibovitz explains how Ariel University Center in Samaria came to be:

Becoming a university is something that the college in Ariel was determined to achieve. Founded in 1982, it has since mushroomed, with more than 13,000 students currently enrolled. Rather than wait for official recognition, the school opted to rename itself the Ariel University Center in Samaria in 2007. The move did not sit well with the Council for Higher Education, which vowed to take action.

But there was little the council could do: Because Israeli law doesn’t apply in the West Bank—to do so would mean annexation, which would require awarding Israeli citizenship to nearly 2.5 million Palestinians—all civilian affairs in the region are overseen by the Israel Defense Forces. In 1997, after the council refused to supervise a number of nascent Jewish academic institutions established east of the Green Line, a new body was formed, called the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria (CHEJS). Its members are appointed by the army.

Have a look at the whole piece.