Shohat C'tee: Tuition raise not final

Report says fees to be raised by 20%; students threaten strike after Pessah.

Head of the sub-committee for university tuition, Dr. Liora Meridor, denied a Ma'ariv newspaper report Thursday that university fees for undergraduate students would go up next year by 20 percent. In an interview with Israel Radio, Meridor said that the Shohat Committee and the sub-committee have yet to decide what recommendations to make regarding the fees, adding that the final decision would be in accordance with the constraints of the university framework. Ma'ariv also reported Thursday that fees for masters degrees would, for the first time, be differential. The student unions of Tel Aviv University and 10 colleges held a strike Wednesday in protest of the plans to raise tuition. The students were also striking against the appointment of Meridor herself as the head of a committee, claiming that she supported raising tuition and demanded she be replaced, even though the unions signed an agreement with Education Minister Yuli Tamir in which they initially agreed to Meridor's appointment. The Student Union was threatening to continue the strike after the Pessah holidays. Boaz Toporovsky, Head of Tel-Aviv University's Student Union said that "there was no way the students would let the plan go into action… If the government and treasury think they can ruin higher education, they are in for a true fight... one that has never before been seen in Israel."