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Ariel Students Remain Optimistic About University Status

Students at the Ariel University Center express optimism about being recognized. "We rely on the Education Minister and the Prime Minister."
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/6/2012, 5:12 AM

Ariel University Center
Ariel University Center
Ariel University Center

Students at the Ariel University Center were unfazed on Thursday by the decision of the Council for Higher Education’s Committee for Planning and Finance not to grant Ariel the status of a university.

Shai Shahaf, chairman of the Student Association at the Ariel University Center, told Arutz Sheva that the issue will ultimately be decided by the CHE in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron), which has already said Ariel has successfully met the requirements for becoming a university.

“We're definitely not giving up, because we know we have the CHE in Judea and Samaria,” said Shahaf. “The Committee for Planning and Finance only gave its recommendation, but we are relying on the Education Minister and on the Prime Minister to reach the right decision.”

Shahaf noted that there have been cases in the past where the Committee for Planning and Finance gave a recommendation which did not bind the CHE.

“The Committee for Planning and Finance does not decide, it just gives a recommendation, and there have been many times in the past where the CHE did not consider the recommendation of the Committee for Planning and Finance," he said. "We are convinced that the Education Minister, who is a true friend of Ariel, will set the tone.”

Education Minister Gideon Saar said Thursday that he will recommend that the Ariel University Center be recognized as a university.

“There will be struggles here, and I do not want to give precise predictions about the time it will take for this process to be completed, but in the end Ariel will be a university,” Saar said.

Shahaf said that the Committee’s decision indicates certainly did not surprise the students. "We knew it was coming, there was an inadequate intervention here. We hope that the right decision will be made on July 15, and until then we will do everything to influence the decision makers.”

Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely on Thursday slammed the decision to delay recognition of Ariel, saying, “This is an academic putsch against the Israeli government's economic and political policy. Ariel is in the heart of Israeli consensus; there is no Zionist leftwing that thinks Ariel is not on the map of Israel."