Hundreds of students, staff protest closing of TAU Dental School

Demonstrators wave signs reading "with our teeth we will fight, the school will not close."

dental school protest 248 88 (photo credit: Abe Selig)
dental school protest 248 88
(photo credit: Abe Selig)
Over 200 students and staff at Tel Aviv University's School of Dentistry on Sunday protested plans to close down the institution, waving signs that read "with our teeth we will fight, the school will not close", among others. The dental school, which has been under the threat of closure for several years due to budgetary problems, was scheduled to remain open after an agreement was reached in January between the school and the government. That agreement has now fallen through, and protesters said plans to close the facility altogether were already underway. "What kind of message is the country sending its citizens, when it has to send its students abroad to study dentistry?" said Gil Goldberg, who heads Tel Aviv University's union of students. "The price of studying in many of those institutions can reach up to $80,000, while the academic level they offer is significantly lower than what is offer here in Israel." "We are not going to accept this decision quietly," he continued. "And if it is not reversed, we plan on turning up the intensity of our protests." The university has previously said that the high cost of running the dental school led to an annual budget deficit of NIS 10-15 million, and over the past three years, the enrollment for clinical dentistry studies had been discontinued.