Press Release

The Israel Democracy Institute on Reforming the Council Of Higher Education and the Committee for Planning and Budgeting

IDI to Minister of Education Naftali Bennett: "Form a committee for appointing members of the Council of Higher Education, have the process overseen by the Attorney General and better coordinate with representatives from a variety of fields."

Following the resignation of six members of the Council of Higher education last week, the Israel Democracy Institute sent a letter, signed by IDI President Yohanan Plesner, Vice President Mordechai Kremnitzer and researcher Prof. Hanoch Dagan, to Minister of Education Natali Bennett. The signees recommend Bennett change the way members of the council and the Committee for Planning and Budgeting are chosen. The goal, according to the writers, is to constructively advance changes that will protect the independence of the higher education system and prevent crises like the current one from erupting in the future.

Here are some of the recommendations:

1. Change the council's composition.
2. Establish a search committee.
3. Change how the minister chooses committee members.
4. Have the attorney general be involved in monitoring the selection process.
5. Appoint a deputy head of the council and give that person specific powers.
6. Have representatives of the public on the committee.

For a full explanation of the above recommendations (in Hebrew), click here>>

With regards to the Planning and Budgeting Committee, the IDI recommends that a similar process of changing the method for selecting committee members be implemented.

IDI's Plesner says, "The goal of the framework is to ensure the professionalism and the excellence of the Council of Higher Education for years to come. For many years, the State of Israel has been among the top 10 leading countries in the realm of science and research; this is one of the relative advantages Israel has in a hostile security environment. The framework we recommend is intended to guarantee there will be enough independence for the higher education system and that it will be disconnected from political upheaval. Bennett must create a method for administering the committee in a way that would enable it to continue to move Israel forward to new scientific heights."