Higher education exams will be taken online starting Sunday

Starting Sunday, students will be able to take exams online, after it seemed like universities would be ignoring the new coronavirus restrictions and forcing students to come to campus.

THE MODEL of higher education will have to change’: Tel Aviv University students relax (in a decidely non-socially distant way) on the first day of the new academic year, in October 2018. (photo credit: FLASH90)
THE MODEL of higher education will have to change’: Tel Aviv University students relax (in a decidely non-socially distant way) on the first day of the new academic year, in October 2018.
(photo credit: FLASH90)
On Saturday evening, the Council for Higher Education in Israel caved to the government's demand to allow students to take exams online from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Israeli media.  
On Tuesday, the Health Ministry announced that all exams planned to take place on campuses throughout Israel were canceled, following the decision by the coronavirus cabinet on Monday to reinstate restrictions for combating the spread of the virus. The compromise offered to universities was to hold the exams in an online format through the videoconferencing app Zoom.
Universities in Israel voiced concerns regarding the decision, with some demanding that at least 50% of the exams be allowed to take place on campuses and warning that otherwise, the students will be the ones to suffer the consequences. 
While the Council for Higher Education said it was going to adhere to the restrictions and stop all examinations from physically taking place on campuses, the council also attacked the decision to force online exams, stating that without further discussions, the decision "will harm thousands of students without the necessary technological means... as well as students with special needs that cannot take exams online at home or elsewhere." 
The council also personally attacked Ze'ev Elikn, currently serving as higher education and water resources minister, claiming that "unfortunately, Minister Elkin is busy with unnecessary provocations for political purposes, instead of trying to find solutions together with us for the benefit of the students," adding that "we are not in a midst of an election campaign, and the responsible minister should act out of a real sense of responsibility to the future of the students and the system he was put in charge of only a month ago."
Exams that were originally planned to be taken online or off-campus will remain as planned, while exams that require physical presence will be taken under the consideration of each university separately, with each institute deciding whether it will postpone the exams, conduct them online or determine grades with alternative evaluation methods.
"Heads of the universities will continue to defend the academic autonomy and freedom of universities. Management will continue to prioritize its students and will act to promise the students' health and the quality of their academic training," the message by the Council for Higher Education concluded.