Students listening to a lecture at an Israeli university.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The average amount of parental financial help provided to students in 2012 thus
far climbed to NIS 14,355, a 15 percent increase from last year, according to a
survey released Tuesday by the National Union of Israeli Students.
was always clear that they’d help me,” explained Omri Hefer, an engineering
student at Tel Aviv University. Hefer’s parents pay for his entire
tuition, which comes to 13,000 NIS a year – assistance he said he relies
Last year, he moved out of his parents’ house and into an apartment
closer to the university with his girlfriend. “My parents pay for my
share of the rent as well, and on the side I work,” he said. With his salary,
Hefer manages to pay for his other expenses, including food.
Student Survey 2012, based on 5,118 student responses, 51% of students in Israel
have received financial aid from their parents this year.
Among them, on
an annual basis, 46% receive between NIS 9,000 and NIS 20,000; 36% receive up to
NIS 9,000; and 18% receive more than NIS 20,000. In addition, it was found that
average parental support for Arab students is NIS 17,319.
studies at a private college in the Tel Aviv periphery and explains that since
getting accepted into Israeli universities has become increasingly difficult,
many students his age turn to private colleges, which are very
The cost of tuition in these institutions, however, is
often three times the cost of studying at a university.
“My parents pay
for it and I live at home, but I don’t want to stay stuck here. I eventually
want to get my own place and pay for my own car,” he said.
that as he is starting his second year of studies, he is applying for waiter
jobs as well: “My schedule doesn’t exactly allow much time for it, but it means
that any free time I will have, including the weekends, I am going to dedicate
to work,” he explained.
“This data is particularly serious when we
consider the fact that Israel is largely based on its human capital,” said Itzik
Shmuli, head of the National Union of Israeli Students. “If parents today need
to spend thousands more shekels to help their children financially survive the
studying period, this is a lethal blow to making higher education accessible to
the disadvantaged, and furthermore preventing them from reaching almost their
only chance of breaking the circle of poverty.”
Shmuli added that the
survey results “join the government’s inaction in regulating housing and food
prices” and are “another slap in the face of the middle class who works and
serves in the army but collapse under economic burden because of the
government’s harmful policies.”