Yuval Steinitz 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)
The budget for higher education will increase by 30 percent and amount to NIS 7.5 billion in the next six years, Minister of Education Gideon Saar, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and chair of the budget for higher education Prof. Manuel Trachtenberg announced at a media press conference in Jerusalem Wednesday.
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The annual budget will increase gradually, from NIS 767 million in the first year to NIS 2.03 billion in the sixth.
The multi-year budget plan was presented after negotiations with the student union on increased tuition.
"This is a very exciting moment for us," said Trachtenberg. "We have waited many years for this moment."
Steinitz explained that 40% had been cut from the defense budget for "use in higher education... We will add NIS 2.3 billion to higher education beyond natural growth." According to the finance minister, the addition would not have been possible without the minimum NIS 3 billion cut from the defense budget.
"Israel's economic success, which is very impressive, is based primarily on human capital, human capital at its highest level which is based first and foremost on the higher education system," Steinitz said at his opening remarks. "When I was still in the education system did I realize that true reform is needed to move academics forward. I must say, looking at the Treasury, we have needed to change the budget since 2000."
"This reform is for the country and for the students," added the finance minister. "The students will be able to receive teaching at a higher level. The product, after three years or six years of study, will be a better, higher quality product, which will be valued more, in Israel and abroad."
The education minister noted that , "One thing which Israel excels in compared to other countries is the population's degree of accessibility to higher education."
"Along with strengthening the accessibility, we want to strengthen the institutions, to enable the recruitment of young, qualified faculty, to strengthen the infrastructure of teaching and research, to enable quotas in the addition of students, with an emphasis on institutions in the periphery and Jerusalem."
As part of the reform, NIS 500 million will be allocated to the higher
education of the Arab and ultra-Orthodox populations, explained Saar.
Trachtenberg spoke about a plan to enrich studies at institutions, which
will go beyond specific subjects that each student studies. "This will
strengthen arts and humanities very, very much," he said. "The
point is that this subject has diminished very much and we want to
broaden the studies of humanities for everyone. It is unthinkable that a
student who studies physics and mathematics will not be exposed to