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Gideon Sa'ar
Photo: Mooki Schwartz
Ariel University Center in Samaria
Photo: Gil Lerner
Sa'ar scrambling to achieve consensus for Ariel bid
Several weeks before High Court hearing on Ariel university status, education minister works to achieve public legitimacy through cabinet, Higher Education Council votes
Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar has been hard at work trying to secure a final approval for the establishment of a university in Ariel. He is hoping to secure a majority at Sunday's cabinet vote and at the Higher Education Council forum. Sa'ar wants to set the ground before the High Court of Justice discusses a petition against the move.

 

"This is a critical decision for Israel's higher education system," a member of the academia said Saturday. "There is no room for political interests and that is why the High Court is the only body that should discuss the matter."

 

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Others described the Ariel University Center in Samaria as "a political college with political patrons" claiming that this was the sole reason for the university bid.

 

Any decision to establish a university by the Higher Education Council must be approved by the government, which is eager to put the final seal on the upgrade.

 

However, according to international law, the military is the sovereign in the West Bank and therefore the Central Command chief is the only party authorized to rule on the matter.

 

Minister Sa'ar believes that the government should guide the military commander on the matter. "The establishment of an eighth university will elevate Israel's higher education system and that is why the process must be completed as soon as possible," Sa'ar argued.

 

The Higher Education Council is also set to hold a discussion on the matter, despite the fact that the Ariel College is under the jurisdiction of the Judea and Samaria Higher Education Council.

 

 

 

 

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