After announcing the formation of his own political party last week, it has emerged that former television talk show host Yair Lapid has been accepted on Master's and doctorate courses without possessing a bachelor's degree as required.

The ex-host of Channel 2's "Ulpan Shishi" was accepted as a Master's student in Bar-Ilan University's Program for the Study of Commentary and Culture last year. He is now studying for a doctorate in the program, which is seen as one of the Ramat Gan institute's flagship projects.

Lapid was accepted as a Master's student on the basis of his "literary and journalistic achievements." Yet according to the program's requirements, "the course is intended for students who have completed their bachelor's degree with honors and who display a broad-minded perspective."

The requirements stipulate that "the course is offered to Master's and doctorate students only, based on the assumption that interdisciplinary studies would be significant and effective only for a student who has studied one or more disciplines thoroughly for his bachelor's degree."

Last June, Lapid was accepted as a doctorate student in the program. The doctorate requirements state: "In order to be accepted [students are] required to complete two years of Master's studies in the course."

After completing these two years, "students interested in a doctorate will submit a doctorate proposal, following which they will become regular doctorate students."

Bar-Ilan University said in response: "Mr. Yair Lapid was accepted to [the program's] Master's studies in the accepted process for students with no degree after a comprehensive examination, considering his literary and journalistic accomplishments and the recommendations he submitted. In his Master's studies, Lapid had especially excellent grades and therefore the doctorate studies committee accepted his request to begin doctorate studies in a combined course, intended for outstanding students ... also in the university's accepted procedure."

The university said two other students, both authors, were also accepted to the program this year. Lapid chose not to comment.

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