Israeli Government Agrees To Bail Out Hebrew University

An agreement was signed last week by treasury officials alongside representatives of Hebrew University and Israel’s Council of Higher Education by which the government is undertaking to financially bail out Hebrew University. According to the Haaretz report, the government will provide NIS 70 million a year for the next decade in addition to the current state aid received by the university. The university has committed to adhere to a fiscal recovery program in the amount of NIS 2.7 billion which entails selling off property, salary cuts and reducing the size of its staff. The university hopes to increase the number of students in high-tech by 70% as well as to bring in more chareidi and Arab students; all part of its plan to generate revenue and payoff its accumulated deficit. It also has significant pension responsibilities, reporting in 2015, it paid NIS 636 million of the school’s annual budget for pension benefits. These funds have to come from the university’s own coffers. The university currently operates six campuses, three in the capital, one in Rehovot, and a veterinary hospital at Beit Dagan. There is also a joint campus with Bar-Ilan University in Eilat. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)