After an initial setback in which it was decided that Ariel University would not be allowed to open a medical school, Education Minister Naftali Bennett won the battle and the decision was reversed, clearing the way for the new medical school to open in Samaria.
Following the intervention of the Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who decreed that there is no legal issue preventing the Council for Secondary Education in Judea and Samaria from ruling on the issue, the Council immediately approved the creation of a new medical school in Ariel University. However, as Mandelblit recommended, the final decision will be determined by the Council for Higher Education in Israel.
In response to the reversal in policy, Bennett said: “The national need overrode the political interest in the matter. We have won. I am happy that the council made the right decision for the good of the State of Israel. We have a severe shortage of doctors in Israel. We have a need for additional medical schools and we have a university that fits the criteria needed to open one. This is the right move for academia, for the medical profession in the country and for the state and the Israeli public.”
Bennett then took a jab and the leadership of the other universities in the country. “Throughout the entire process, the cartel of university leadership in Israel did everything in their power to prevent the opening of this new school in order to prevent one thing: competition. The national need of Israel won out over the political interest of the cartel of university leadership.”
A statement issued by Ariel University praised the decision: “The opening of studies and the increase to the school in the near future will be a major part of the solution to the problem of not having enough learning opportunities for young people wishing to study medicine in Israel. The University thanks the Attorney General for his decision that cast the proper light onto the issue placing the decision in the hands of the Council of Higher Learning in Judea and Samaria. We re very thankful that we received the permission needed to do so.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)