Presidents of Israeli universities expressed opposition to the official granting of university status to an Ariel educational institution.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the presidents stated that "setting up a new university would fatally harm higher education in Israel."
Israeli academics had previously petitioned the government to block Ariel University Center
of Samaria (AUC) from officially achieving university status on the grounds that the institution is geographically located beyond the Green Line.
Colleges do not receive research funding, which means they receive about 50% less money from government than do universities. A five-year transition period from college to full university status will culminate in July 2012, when the AUC is scheduled to receive government allocation for its research.