Daily Israel Report

Changes to Higher Education, Restoration of Balance and Variety?

Minister Gideon Sa'ar: The expansion of the Council for Higher Education will result in quality, variety and balance.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 3/12/2012, 4:34 PM

Gideon Saar
Gideon Saar
Flash 90

The Cabinet decided, on Sunday, to unanimously approve the proposal of the Minister of Education, Gideon Sa’ar, to expand the composition of the Council for Higher Education (CHE).

The proposal of the Education Minister was approved, after the appointments committee, headed by Justice (ret.) Yehoshua Gross, found that all the candidates appointed by Minister Sa’ar met the required qualifications.

The new list of candidates includes representatives from universities, public colleges, and private colleges. The list also includes a representative from the Ariel University Center, as well as other public and student representatives.

“The expansion of the Council for Higher Education will result in quality, variety and balance,” Minister Sa’ar said. “The new CHE will promote the necessary changes in higher education and will increase its accessibility to the general public.”

The diversity among appointees remains unprecedented. Half of the candidates are female and there is Arab and Ethiopian representation, as well.  

Chancellor of the Ariel University Center of Samaria, Yigal Cohen Orgad, called Minister’s Sa’ar’s initiative “a very brave step.”

He said that the new council will result in a “much more balanced composition of the 25 members of the Council for Higher Education.”

In the past, he noted, there was a “clear-cut, over dominance of the veteran universities.”

“The more non-national approach you had, you had a better chance to become part of the body,” Orgad said.

“The CHE controls, guides, plans the whole development- and finances the whole development- of higher education in Israel,” he explained.  

Orgad continued to note that the Ariel University Center maintains active and daily ties with universities and research centers around the world.

He noted that the educational center in Ariel has been granted a “temporary accreditation” of university status for the past five years, which is scheduled to expire on July 15.  At that time, he said, the university will apply for permanent accreditation, which he hopes and assumes they will achieve.