Finance Ministry: Master's Degree Tuition Should Be Raised in Non-research Tracks

Fields such as management, law, and education would be affected; tuition could reach over NIS 20,000.

The Finance Ministry supports differential tuitions for master's degrees in Israel, depending on the research involved in the field of study, TheMarker has learned.

The head of the Finance Ministry budget, Kobi Haber, said he plans to present a proposal to the Knesset Committee on Reform in Higher Education in Israel, whereby master's degrees that do not involve research would have higher tuition.

The ministry proposal calls for increasing tuition to NIS 14,000 per year, with tuition for degrees that are non-research based potentially being over NIS 20,000.

The ministry's proposal refers to the three most popular degrees in Israeli universities: a Master's of Business Administration (MBA), a master's degree in law, and a master's degree in education.

The majority of applicants apply specifically to these fields because the degrees have direct implications on their future potential salaries.

A master's degree in education is crucial in order to advance professionally in the field, and graduate degrees in law and management are springboards for the most desirable salaries in today's economy.

The popularity of these degrees is evident also in the country's colleges, which offer degrees mainly in these fields and charge up to NIS 25,000 per year.

"There is no reason why those who want a master's degree in order to boost their salaries shouldn't be required to pay more for their studies," said Haber. "This is an investment the student makes in order to raise his potential salary, and the state should not have to pay for this investment."

These three fields of study have had an increasing number of applicants in the past few years, unlike other university master's degree programs that are research-based.

The ministry does not support, however, differential tuition for B.A. degrees, maintaining that they want to encourage higher education equally for each field.

The purpose of a graduate degree is professional advancement, and therefore does not necessarily need to have equal tuition for different fields of study.

The Finance and Education Ministries, along with the Prime Minister's Office, are forming a committee to examine the proposals being made to the Committee on Reform in Higher Education in Israel .

Former MK Avraham Shohat is considered a likely candidate to head the committee.