Bachelor’s degrees should be funded for every student, President Shimon Peres said Sunday at a ceremony to mark the first day of the academic year for higher education.

Peres called higher education a social right and a “existential requirement” for living during a speech at the Levinsky College of Education in Tel Aviv.

“We should enable a free first degree for every student,” he said, without specifying where the money to fund such an endeavor would come from.

At present higher education costs around NIS 15,000 ($2,614) per year, usually paid for by the students’ parents.

Peres received an honorary teaching degree from the college, which this year marked the centenary of its founding in 1912. In the years since, the college claims to have graduated over 40,000 teachers.

Over 350,000 students began studies on Sunday at universities and colleges across the country.