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February 26, 2015 / 7 Adar , 5775
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To Everyone’s Surprise, Barak Turns Ariel College Into a University

Leftists Protest against Ariel University

Right now, a lot of eyebrows are probably being raised as high as the champagne glasses, after Defense Minister Ehud Barak granted Ariel College his stamp of approval. This was the last step needed for Ariel College to receive official recognition and accreditation as a university.

Barak instructed Major General Nitzan Alon to recognize the school, located in the city of Ariel in the Shomron, as a university, after refusing to do so since the paper crossed his desk in September.

Barak will be ending this phase of his political career following his decision to not run in the upcoming elections.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein also recommended that the approval be granted.

Last month MK Tzipi Hotoveli told JewishPress.com that PM Netanyahu would ensure that the university was approved before the upcoming elections. Turns out she was right.

But there are still roadblocks ahead as the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities, who oppose the accreditation on political grounds, plan to take the decision to the High Court of Justice, where they believe the decision will be overturned.

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6 Responses to “To Everyone’s Surprise, Barak Turns Ariel College Into a University”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    Can someone explain to those of us in the diaspora who aren't familiar with the Israeli distinction between "college" and "university" (a distinction now without meaning in the US) what the significance of this is? (I'm not complaining about the decision, I just don't know what it means.) Thanks!

  2. Stephen Leavitt says:

    There are a lot fewer significant differences than there used to be, but there is one major one.

    The primary difference is that universities directly get government funding, while colleges are privately funded, or sometimes subset of a university, and get their money from the university.

    Until relatively recently, and I think it was IDC-Herzliya that broke that mold, colleges were single issue schools of higher education, with limited research facilities. Also they couldn't offer degrees higher than a BA or BS.

    And for a long time (and it may still be so) colleges degrees were looked down on as second tier degrees compared to universities degrees (even when the college was at a higher educational level such as IDC or Machon Lev).

    The best teaching staff would go supposedly go to the universities, and not the colleges, for the prestige.

  3. I find the Jewish Press most informative and thank them for this.

  4. Another strange thing about the Israeli academic system is that academic institutions can give the degree of doctor, but professor is by the Council of Higher Education, authorized by the government. Is there anything like that in any other countries, anybody know? It's ridiculous that politics can cause of prevent the establishment of a university.

  5. these roadblocks/rather redblocks/ could be called useful idiots!

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