State Rejects 'Inferior' Academic Degrees

Academic degrees from local branches of foreign universities will not be recognized for the wage scales of state employees, according to a Finance Ministry decision ratified recently by the cabinet during budget discussions.

Relly Sa'ar
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Relly Sa'ar

Academic degrees from local branches of foreign universities will not be recognized for the wage scales of state employees, according to a Finance Ministry decision ratified recently by the cabinet during discussions on the 2003 budget.

The cabinet decided that teachers and state employees in the Civil Service, the Israel Police, the Prisons Service, the Israel Defense Forces and the defense establishment who had received academic degrees from local branches of foreign universities would have to undergo exams in order determine their wage gradings.

The cabinet decision still requires approval by the Knesset. Civil Service regulations will be changed so recognition for the academic wage scale will be afforded only to graduates of an Israeli university or foreign university recognized by the Council for Higher Education.

Senior treasury officials told Ha'aretz yesterday that the implication of the decision was that "wage bonuses would no longer be paid to Civil Service employees who had earned their academic qualifications from a local branch of a foreign university as their qualifications were at best equal to those of high-school graduates."

The sources said that the decision would push the local branches of foreign universities to become Israeli institutes of higher education that meet the demands of the Council for Higher Education.

The treasury sources said that the aim was to cut down on the abuse of wage benefits.

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