September 6, 2006
Following drop in number of applicants to colleges in north, government transfers through donators USD 7 million for scholarships for new students. Haifa, Technion not included
by Ronny Sofer
Vice Premier Shimon Peres announced Tuesday that a discount of 50 percent off tuition will be given to all students starting their first year in seven select colleges in the Galilee. It was also decided to establish a scholarship fund to aid students in their second and third years of study based on socio-economic criteria. Haifa University and the Technion are not included in this arrangement.
|Braude College during |
Photo: Ahiya Raved
|Tel Hai College|
The decision was made following a significant drop in the number of applicants to colleges in the north following the north. The scholarships, amounting to USD 7 million, will by subsidized by the Jewish Agency, United Israel Appeal, and the Sakta Rashi Fund.
Peres, who head the fundraising campaign for strengthening and developing the north, said that he is proud of the support provided by Diaspora Jews for strengthening the Galilee. He also said that he believes that the arrival of thousands of students to the Galilee will strengthen the area.
The vice premier added that he hopes the government will soon realize its commitment to found the Galilee's first university.
"When we see what Ben Gurion University did for the Negev, we understand the contribution that a university will affect on the Galilee," he said.
Thousands cancellations at Galilee colleges
Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski and Jewish Agency Director-general Moshe Vigdor emphasized that the objective of the initiative is to attract young people to northern colleges and to return the area to its pre-war conditions.
In a meeting held in his office, Peres reported thousands of application cancellations to the seven Galilee colleges. Thus, for instance, applications dropped 47 percent at Tel Hai College, 22 percent at Safed College, 20 percent at Jezreel Valley College, 33 percent at Braude College in Carmiel.
Peres' office reported that the Education Ministry praised the initiative, and hopes that cooperation between the various funds involved and the government will pool resources and will bring about a turning point in occupation, education, and infrastructure in the area.