Ariel University
Ariel UniversityAriel University

The High Court on Tuesday rejected a petition filed by eight Israeli universities demanding that the official decision granting Ariel University Center full university status be cancelled.

The motion was filed in August of 2012 by the Hebrew University, the Technion, Tel Aviv University, the Weizmann Institute, Haifa University, Ben Gurion University and the Open University.

The motion was filed against the Council of Higher Education for Judea and Samaria (CHE-JS) as well as the Commander of the IDF in Judea and Samaria, the Government of Israel, the Ministers of Defense, Finance and Education, the Council of Higher Education, the Council of Higher Education's Planning and Finance Committee (CHE-PFC) and the Ariel University Center.

The plaintiffs claimed that the CHE-JS exceeded the bounds of its authority when it decided, against the opinion of the CHE-PFC, to recognize Ariel as a University, and that its decision is riddled with faults.

The petition was discussed by High Court President Justice Asher Grunis, Justice Miriam Naor and Justice Edna Arbel, and all three ruled that there was no fundamental flaw in the process taken by the CHE-JS in making the decision to recognize Ariel as a university.

Grunis said the process was organized and that the Planning and Finance Committee had been given the opportunity to express its position regarding the recognition of Ariel.

"Given that no flaws were found in the process, and given that the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria addressed the position of the Planning and Finance Committee and gave it an opportunity to make its opinion be heard, the Court finds no reason to intervene and the petition is rejected," read the decision.

Interior Minister Gideon Saar, who fought hard in his previous position as Education Minister to get Ariel recognized as a university, welcomed the High Court's decision to reject the petition saying the petition was “unnecessary. The Ariel University was approved in a proper procedure.”

Saar added, "It’s too bad that the universities did not respect the decision of the government, the CHE and the CHE-JS on this issue, and had to be forced to accept a ruling by the High Court on the establishment of another university in Israel."