Knesset immigration and education committees recommended at a hearing Monday the creation of a government organ to evaluate the legitimacy of foreign degrees. The proposal, reported in the Israeli daily Haaretz, comes in light of news that the Israeli Ministry of Education is not recognizing degrees from foreign univeristies that award college credits to students spending a year at Israeli yeshivas. If the undergraduate degree is not recognized, neither are subsequent graduate and post-graduate degrees.In Israel, where public sector job salaries rise according to education level, American-educated Israelis with advanced degrees could find themselves paid at a wage scale comparable to high school graduates. Some worry the directive will discourage alumni of Yeshiva University from studying or moving to the Jewish state, as many of its undergraduates receive credit for post high-school studies in Israel.
YU President Richard Joel spoke out against the policy last week, and asked for “full faith and credit” in YU degrees. Two of the school’s alumni testified against the policy at the hearing, Haaretz reported. Joel said Tuesday that based on his correspondences and coversations with Education Minister Limor Livnat and Deputy Education Ministor Michael Melchior, he has “tremendous confidence that the issue will go away.”