Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yehuda vShomron College -- Accredited as a University

Despite their academic success, the Yehuda v'Shomron College in Ariel has been waiting for years to receive accreditation as an official University. No one questioned their academic standards, ranking, or achievements -- rather it was politics, or more specifically, the location of the college in the Shomron City of Ariel, which prevented its accreditation.

YNET explains that the Yisrael Beitenu faction had to force Defense Minister Barak to allow the IDF Central District commander to bestow the title University on the college.
Yisrael Beiteinu claimed that Barak was holding up the process and did not instruct the military to sign the necessary authorization. They even threatened that "as long as the Labor Party does not honor the agreements it is signed on, all parliamentary activity on its behalf will be met by total opposition of 15 members of Knesset," according to statements made by Yisrael Beiteinu Faction Chairman Robert Ilatov.

At long last, it seems as though the pressure paid off. In the upcoming days, legal advisors in the government ministries will examine all aspects regarding the issue, after which the move is expected to come to fruition.

MK Alex Miller, who serves as chairman of the Student Union in the Knesset and lives in Ariel, praised the decision which, according to him, will strengthen Jewish settlement of the West Bank. "The government gave an important shot of encouragement today to the Jewish settlement in Samaria and to academia in Israel."

"This decision will not only expand access to higher education, but it also shows that despite its sensitivity location, the academic achievements in Ariel fulfills the strict criteria necessary to become a university, to lead in excellence, and make academic achievements," he said.
Under Ariel Sharon, the college was also given the go ahead, but another Labor politician, MK Yuli Tamir, did her best to scuttle the chances for the college.

Congratulations to Ariel University!

PS; MK Yaakov Katz ("Ketzeleh") said, "Ehud Barak is like the bad [shabbat] angel who must say amen [to the accreditation of Ariel University]." (a7)

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Shmilda said...

I love the image of Ehud Barak as the bad angel.

Neshama said...

Am I correct in thinking that it would be less expensive to live and learn in Ariel, which is a tremendous opportunity for many low-income Israelis. To whom do we owe the gratitude for the creativity of this educational facility in Ariel?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Neshama: Ted Arison.

Olah Chadasha said...

I do hope they get the accreditation, and soon. I want to apply there, but I won't unless they have the official title of university. I want the degree to be universally accepted. Ariel has a strong reputation in academic excellence, more so these days than some other school, like TAU. I hope nothing else blocks this final move.

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