TEL AVIV (Jun. 9)
Israeli university students staged a two-hour strike today to protest plans to raise tuition fees next year. The universities have asked for fees of IL 6500-IL 7000, more than double the present IL 3000 per annum. The Ministry of Education said it would meet the students’ demands half-way and set fees at IL 5500. But the students claim this is still too high. They have proposed that tuition fees be geared to the cost-of-living index which would place them at an average of IL 3850.
Some circles here have warned that increased fees for higher education would widen the gap between the affluent and under-privileged segments of society as only the well-to-do would be able to send their children to universities. Since the bulk of the universities’ budgets are underwritten by the government, this would mean that the State is subsidizing the education of the rich, the circles said.