ISRAEL: Treasury holding higher education hostage

A few days before the end of his short term as deputy chairman of the Council for Higher Education, Professor Itzhak Galnoor has warned that Israel's higher educational system is in danger of collapse, reports Haaretz. He blames the Finance Ministry, which in recent years has cut about 20% of the budget for higher education.

The council has responsibility for the accreditation, supervision and budgeting of all institutions of higher education in the country. "It's a disgraceful policy," Galnoor told Haaretz. "There are no resources, no laboratories, no equipment."

Galnoor said that after he leaves the post he intends to "raise a cry" over the treasury's refusal to restore budget cuts. "The treasury is holding the return of resources for higher education hostage; it is making their release conditional on 'streamlining'. It is demanding a package deal in which tuition fees will be raised and the money will be returned to the system. But in the present situation it is impossible to increase tuition fees. And since the treasury sees it as a package deal, it is unwilling to restore the budgets that were robbed from the universities," he said.
Full report on the Haaretz site