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The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has received an unprecedented $200 million in donations from foreign donors over the past three months. But Technion president Professor Yitzhak Apeloig said Sunday that unless the government restores the funds it has cut from the higher education budget, his institution and others will be unable to function.
"The contributions are meant for buildings, modern labs, scholarships for outstanding students and hiring the best new faculty members, but government funds [through the Council for Higher Education] are meant for ongoing maintenance [and salaries], and with their current level, we unfortunately cannot open the new academic year."
The major donors, especially from the US and Canada, understand the importance of the Technion to the economy, security and strength of Israel, said Apeloig.
Deputy president Professor Peretz Lavie added that $100 million was donated by Alfred Mann for the applied medical research institute, $25m. by Lori Lucki for a new program integrating life sciences, engineering and medicine under the direction of Nobel Prize laureate Professor Aharon Ciechanover, and $38m. by Seymour Shulich and Peter Munk of Canada for renewing the chemistry facility and establishing a research and development institute. An additional $15m. was contributed by an anonymous donor for a new "village" for continuing education students.
Apeloig noted that it was the first time that the Mann, Lucki and Shulich families had donated to the Technion. "All three made their donations after a careful investigation of universities in the US and Europe. They reached the conclusion that the money will be more fruitful and produce higher quality results at the Technion," he said.