Universities and colleges open for year amid labor strife
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Universities and colleges open for year amid labor strife

Some 306,000 to kick off studies at institutes across the country, though junior staff at two schools go on strike and teachers at other colleges say they may follow

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative image of students at the Rehovot Campus of Hebrew University, on January 22, 2018. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Illustrative image of students at the Rehovot Campus of Hebrew University, on January 22, 2018. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

The academic year opened Sunday with some 306,000 students set to begin studying at the country’s higher education institutes, while junior staff at two universities began an open-ended strike over employment conditions.

Junior teaching staff at Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev are demanding better job security including an early notification regarding their employment for the following year, along with wages and sick days comparable to those holding similar positions in other higher education institutes.

Disgruntled staff at Tel Aviv University planned to hold a demonstration outside the front gates to raise awareness of their campaign.

Junior teaching staff at another 12 colleges across the country were also threatening to strike on October 21 over employment conditions.

Among the students hitting the benches, 230,800 will begin their bachelor’s degree, 63,400 masters programs and 11,400 doctoral studies.

Illustrative image of students in the campus at of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, on May 8 2013. (Dudu Greenspan/ Flash90)

A survey published Sunday by the National Students Union found that 64% of those studying in a higher education institution feel that their studies do not adequately prepare them for the job market.

Among those who participated, 83% felt the most important issue that needs attention is strengthening the connection between studies and the job market.

The survey, conducted by the Maagar Mochot, sampled 8,000 students across the country.

A similar survey returned the same figure last year, Hadashot news reported.

Last week, the state’s Council for Higher Education published figures showing that the number of students in higher education stubbornly stuck at about 300,000 over the last decade.

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