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      Archive: 3/5/2012
      13:18
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        3/5/2012, Adar 11, 5772

      Braverman: Higher Education Could Collapse in 10 Years


      Member of Knesset Avishai Braverman (Labor) told the Knesset Science and Technology Committee, Monday, "Israeli academia is in serious crisis. Fifty percent of professors at universities are above the age of 55 and close to retirement. If we do not make a change, and soon, in 10 years Israeli academia will collapse." Speaking at a committee hearing he requested regarding encouraging the return of research and development people from abroad, the former president of Ben-Gurion University added, "The return of minds is a national mission that it will provide a tremendous return to academia in Israel. In addition, the economic return to Israel will be on the order of tens of billions of dollars."

      Professor Braverman said Israel should take advantage of layoffs caused by the economic crisis in the United States, explaining, "First, we must increase the number of academic positions in a significant way so that there is serious turnover here. Second, Israel must exploit the amazing minds that are currently in U.S. universities. Israel must take care of returning scientists, not only with one-time grants when they come back to Israel, but also appropriate employment conditions so that they will be satisfied with the return and remain here for many years."