Students’ Organization: We’re now a power in higher ed

Under new agreement, student representatives will take part in all future discussions about changes in the higher education system.

The National Students’ Organization on Wednesday praised the agreement reached with the Finance Ministry and the Council for Higher Education a day earlier, under which student representatives will take part in all future discussions about changes in the higher education system.
A student representative will serve on every managerial committee, inspection committee and budgetary committee dealing with reform in the system, and NIS 100 million will be returned to students who paid tuition over the past two years.
Also under the agreement, which is part of the five-year plan for reform in the higher education system, the government is not allowed to change tuition over the next three years without the agreement of the students, even if an agreement over changes in tuition isn’t reached in upcoming negotiations.
Boaz Tuporovsky, chairman of the Students Association, told The Jerusalem Post that the agreement will have a great effect on the future of the higher education system. “It makes us [students] central players in the higher education system and places us at the highest levels of decision-making,” he said.
When asked if the agreement came in part due to past student strikes, Tuporovsky said “they [the Treasury and the Higher Education Council] saw that up until today, every time that they tried to change something in the higher education system without our participation it failed. Now they realize that they prefer to have us take part.
“One of the biggest reasons that they agreed to these stipulations is that they realized that we have strength, we are serious and we care deeply about the fate of the higher education system.”
At a press conference on Tuesday, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar(Likud) said that “anyone who tries to reform the education systemwithout the participation of the students meets failure.”
Sa’ar said that the decision to transfer the NIS 100m. to students was a confidence-building measure.
All of the relevant bodies were quick to note that they did not agreeto a raise in tuition, rather that the proportion of the highereducation budget that comes from tuition will rise from 24% to 28% overthe next five years.