Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Update: Livnat: Brouhaha over YU degrees will be resolved

Yes, I know this is old news already but I've been busy this week and wanted to get this up.

From Ha'aretz:

Livnat: Brouhaha over YU degrees will be resolved
By Daphna Berman

The conflict between the Ministry of Education and Yeshiva University will be resolved "to the satisfaction of all concerned," Minister of Education Limor Livnat promised in a letter sent yesterday to Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University.

Livnat's statement came in the wake of heightened tensions between the two bodies, after a Ha'aretz report on Friday revealed that, as a result of the ministry's policy, North American immigrants who have studied in institutions like Yeshiva University cannot get their degrees recognized in Israel. The report touched something of a raw nerve in the American Jewish community, with widespread outrage that an Israeli ministry had disregarded an institution long considered a bedrock of the community's Orthodox establishment.

"I am certain that the recommendations [of the government commission] will adequately address the issues affecting degrees obtained at overseas universities, including Yeshiva University, and will resolve existing problems to the satisfaction of all concerned," Livnat wrote in the letter. "Please be assured of our esteem for the academic standards of Yeshiva University, and for the high level of excellence it requires of its students."

Livnat received an honorary degree from Yeshiva University in 2002, after delivering the keynote address at its graduation ceremony at New York's Madison Square Garden.

For now, however, the ministry's policy means that an immigrant with an undergraduate degree from Yeshiva University and a subsequent masters from Columbia, for example, is viewed as holding only a high school diploma, since once the undergraduate degree is deemed invalid, any subsequent postgraduate degrees are not accepted either. For these immigrants who work in the public sector, this continues to mean a reduced income

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