Study programmes funded by non-public sources in Israeli universities have doubled during the past six years. The number of such programmes has risen from 26 to 51 in a trend that is at variance with a decision reached in 2007 by Israel's Council for Higher Education to withhold recognition of new study programmes, writes Asaf Shtull-Trauring for Haaretz.
The number of students enrolled in privately funded programmes has risen from 1,397 in 2006 to more than 2,350 during the last academic year. The programmes offer masters degree courses for students whose enrolment is not subsidised by the state, and which operate essentially as privatised academic enclaves within the public universities. Students pay tuition fees that are considerably higher than those charged for public study programmes.
Proponents of the privatised programmes hail them as sources of revenue that can be used to confer student scholarships, expand faculties and undertake classroom renovations. Their detractors contend that such high tuition rates undermine the egalitarian, public character of higher education.
Full report on the Haaretz site
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