Israel's psychometric exams, the exams used to assess students applying to higher educational institutes, have been pushed off midway through the current testing period due to the coronavirus outbreak, Walla reported.
The National Institute for Testing and Evaluation announced that the date for the current examinations have been pushed off after some students have already taken the test in the last week, while others were scheduled to take the test in upcoming days.
The announcement comes amid new Health Ministry regulations released on Saturday prohibiting exams take place on university campuses across the country.
The institute announced that, "given that the Council for Higher Education has yet to convene to discuss exceptions to these regulations, unfortunately we must prevent higher learning institutes from holding exams, and we are forced to push back all exams, which includes the psychometric exams scheduled over the next few days."
It was further added that they are, "making every effort to find a solution, including the possibility of holding exams at a later date."
According to the Health Ministry's new regulations, regular examinations not including the psychometric exams must either be held online or canceled completely. The regulation has made it difficult for many areas of study that require students to take their exams in person, such as medicine and theater, in addition to causing controversy between higher education institutes and Higher Education and Water Resources Minister Ze'ev Elkin.
A senior university official spoke out against Elkin earlier this week, saying that, "the minister decided that there is no room for consultation - on his own accord. He can't decide which tests to cancel and which to keep. He doesn't have that kind of knowledge. He's two and a half weeks into the position, and suddenly he's an expert? A council and regulator exist. The regulator, together with the Health Ministry will decide which tests to push off."
Additionally the Council for Higher Education also attacked Elkin following the Health Ministry's announcement on Saturday, saying 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." The council added 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."