School is On!

So I actually am starting school tomorrow. Olmert finally interevened and said enough is enough, the universities need to start on time.

Haaretz wrote an interesting editorial on the university crisis, calling for more accountability on the university level. The treasury wants university spending to go toward certain avenues as recommended by an entity called the Shochat Committee, but the universities want free reign. 

The Shochat Committee recommended that in order to stop Israel’s brain drain, researchers who excel should be encouraged through wage increments and preferential conditions. Young scholars should be given incentives to bring them back from abroad, and that differential salaries are needed for these “stars.” The committee also recommended strengthening research foundations and allocating funding among the universities according to quality, and not political power.

Sound like good ideas, right? The article also reports

“they recently signed a wage agreement giving lecturers a steep 24 percent pay hike that will cost universities about half a billion shekels a year…The wage agreement even worsens the brain drain, because veteran lecturers made sure they get much more than the 24 percent in recognition of length of service, while the younger lecturers, who are being courted by universities abroad, will get less. Young lecturers have no length of service and a new wage agreement will not reward outstanding lecturers and prize-winners whose articles and research are quoted abroad”

Seems like more needs to be fixed besides the government’s way of handling education. I agree with the article that if universities get government money, citizens should know where the money is going. And yes they shouldn’t be giving more money to tenured lecturers when they need to worry about keeping the young, bright folks into this country.

Anyway, back to mundane things. So tonight I have to figure out where my classes are, and get my university email figured out.  Did I mention I’m nervous? I’m sure there will be lots of unexpected stuff that pops up throughout the day. But I guess that is normal.


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