Monday, March 07, 2005

Regarding "Graduate Students will need rich parents, spare time", Ha'Aretz, March 6, 2005: It appears that of the few fields in which Israelis have become world leaders, soon only diamond, extasy and arms dealers will continue to eclipse the rest of the world. Academic research, which has brought us so much positive international recognition and praise, is becoming the stepchild of a government which has already made it clear that each reform in education should first and foremost be aimed at saving money, not providing a decent education for everyone and - heaven forbid - stimulating excellence. In recent years the universities themselves have been showing their willing- and eagerness to follow the government's lead, by translating budgetary pressures into cutbacks on research, and by encouraging students to pursue a master's degree without doing any serious independent research. At least this proves that the professors managing our universities have come out of their ivory towers: they seem to be very much in touch with the masses, where Nobel prizes are hardly as important and certainly never will receive the same rating as something like the Eurovision song contest.

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