The Hebrew University.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced on Sunday that the beginning of the academic year, which was slated to open on October 30, will be delayed by two weeks due to a budgetary dispute.
According to the university’s management, the decision follows continued negotiations these past few months with the Finance Ministry and the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education.
“It would be irresponsible to open the academic year without knowing what the full budget for the year will be and without a solution to the budgetary root problem,” the university said in a statement.
“We apologize in advance for the harm to the students, the staff and the faculty, and hope that within the short period remaining until the beginning of the new year and the two extra weeks that we designated to the negotiations, solutions will be found that will allow us to begin the year as planned,” the statement continued.
The university accused the government bodies of “ignoring past agreements” and “preventing the opening of the academic year.”
“The budgeting department in the Finance Ministry and the Planning and Budgeting Committee are sorry for the decision by Hebrew University’s administration to postpone the opening of the school year, a decision which constitutes harm to the student body,” the committee and Finance Ministry said in a joint statement.
Several alternatives for a long-term solution to the problem of the university’s current budget deficit, which could lead to the recovery and growth of the institution, have been proposed to the university management, the statement said.
The government bodies added that they had agreed to an external consultant to aid the process, and that the university was “provided all the short-term opportunities to allow them to open the school year.”
“All these proposals are still valid today, and if the university were to adopt them, it would be able to open the academic year on time and prevent harm to students that may decide not to begin their studies this year at the Hebrew University,” the statement said.
The government bodies said they were “open at any time” to resume negotiations with the university, in order to open the academic year on time.