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Cutbacks will prevent Israeli universities from opening for the new academic year, according to the university heads.

With more money slashed from the Finance Ministry’s budget for higher education, the universities will not open Nov. 2 as scheduled, representatives of the country’s universities told an emergency session of the Knesset Education Committee on Sunday.

“After seven years of continual cutbacks we have reduced the number of courses, we have raised the number of students in classes and we have banished an entire generation of lecturers overseas,” Rivka Carmi, the president of Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, told the committee. “We’re not issuing a threat not to open the academic year; we simply can’t open the year.”

The threat was made just a week after The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was ranked 93rd in the world by the Times Higher Education survey, jumping 35 places since last year.

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