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Today: The opening of the academic year

The general enlistment that was announced in Israel immediately after the outbreak of the war, that included hundreds of thousands of reserve soldiers, resonated in the economic and social arena in Israel, but especially in the academic world. Many of the reserve soliders were supposed to start the school year in mid-October, at colleges and universities; and with their enlistment, it was clear that this year would not be possible to open normally in their absence.

However, this is a particularly sensitive situation, since many students (80% of them, to be more precise) were not invited to the reserves, either because they did not serve in the IDF, or for personnel reasons. On the one hand, it is impossible to let these students lose the entire school year; on the other hand, it is impossible to create an unfair situation for the reserve soldiers, and this would create a negative catalyst for future reservists. Of course, among all considerations, one must take into account the faculty members of the universities, and the fact that a university is unable to stop its ongoing academic activity, or else its status in the academic world be harmed.

The opening of the school year was postponed, and it seemed at some point that things would progress to be like the first semester of 1973-74, which was completely canceled due to the Yom Kippur war. But it was finally decided (probably due to the end of the main fighting phase on the horizon) that the school year would begin in the first week of January. In a few weeks, when most of the reserve soldiers are released (unless we have some kind of turnaround), the universities will have concentrated and difficult study weeks to complete the material for the semester.

Students who return to a school year from more than 10 reserve days (in this case, everyone), are entitled to a number of additional credits in the degree, in accordance with the law enacted in 2012.

Two academic institutions that will remain closed, for the time being, are Tel Hai Academic College (located in Kfar Giladi, in the Galilee) and Sapir College (located near Sderot) – due to the fact that they are both in the contact line and among the evacuated towns. We hope the learning will be back by them soon, as well.

Respond – rxpuyhi@gmail.com

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