New rising star of Israeli politics Yair Lapid said on Sunday that he was not worried by allegations that he was accepted for post-graduate studies at Bar Ilan University without an undergraduate degree.
A Haaretz report indicates that Lapid was accepted onto Bar-Ilan University's prestigious culture and interpretation graduate program, which accepts only candidates who received a B.A. degree with honors.
Writing on his Facebook page, Lapid, a former veteran news anchor, said that he was not troubled by the allegations, in response to a comment by a Facebook user about the issue on his page.
"Look on the bright side: Someone is worried that I am entering politics. Why they are doing this is interesting," Lapid wrote.
To another comment, Lapid responded that he was "accepted as a doctoral candidate in line with university criteria," and that he was sorry that people felt the need to slander him in this way.
The Council for Higher Education will investigate whether Lapid climbed too far and fast in the country's higher education system without the requisite qualifications.
Speaking anonymously, one senior-level academic at Bar-Ilan University said on Monday, "Universities make deals and 'long-term investments' regarding people who are likely to help them in the future - be these top military officers or politicians."
The university said that Lapid was accepted into the demanding master's and doctorate program, which is considered a flagship at the institution, on the basis of his "literary and journalistic achievements."
Responding to the Haaretz investigation, the Council for Higher Education said last night, "In general, nobody can be admitted to a master's program at an academic institution if he or she lacks an undergraduate degree."
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