Arutz Sheva spoke to Yigal Cohen Orgad, Chancellor of the Ariel University of Samaria, after the Cabinet decided to approve the proposal of the Minister of Education, Gideon Sa’ar, to expand the composition of the Council for Higher Education (CHE).
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.
“Minister Sa’ar took a very brave step by putting together a new Council for Higher Education, which is the legal controller and legal guide of all the high education in Israel,” Orgad told Arutz Sheva, explaining that the new composition of the Council is much more balanced than was the previous composition.
“In the past, the Council had a clear-cut, over dominance of the veteran universities, rather than all parts of the higher education system in Israel,” he explained. “Also, the more a person’s approach was non-nationalistic, the higher were his chances to be part of this body.”
The Council for Higher Education, explained Orgad, “controls, guides, plans and finances the whole development of the higher education in Israel and, as such, it has a major significance to the future of higher education.”
In the interview, Orgad also spoke of the achievements of the Ariel University of Samaria, which was given temporary accreditation as a university for a period of five years, ending in July.
“During those five years of temporary accreditation, we more than fulfilled all the demands that were placed on us,” he said, saying a high-ranking committee followed the process. “As a result, the committee just recently recommended that we receive a full, permanent accreditation as a university. It now has to go through some political, bureaucratic steps. I hope and assume that within four or five months it will be settled.”
He said that the fact that the university is located in the Shomron does not affect its relations with other universities overseas.
“We have some 44 written agreements of cooperation with universities in all parts of the world,” said Orgad. “Western Europe, the United States, North America, East Europe, China, Far East etc. With many we have active day-to-day joint research projects and exchange of research. The same applies to many researchers from Israeli universities as well.”
Orgad added that, unfortunately, some Israeli researchers do not want to cooperate with the Ariel University of Samaria but that fact does not bother him or the university.
“These researchers are very politically defined,” he said. “We tell them that we don’t expect them to cooperate with us, because we manage very well with our cooperation with international research units and institutes, and other universities in Israel.”