Israeli Council Won’t Close Controversial Political-Science Department After All

Israel’s Council for Higher Education decided on Tuesday not to shut down Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s department of politics and government, reversing its previous decision on the matter. A government subcommittee had said the department failed to carry out the recommendations of a quality-assurance group. Academics worldwide protested the move to close the department, arguing that it was an attempt to punish faculty members who had criticized Israel’s government.

On Tuesday, the council decided to overturn the decision and recommend that new students be admitted to the program next year, provided that the faculty hire an additional two or three faculty members by the end of the year.

The Ben Gurion University student council lauded the decision, stating that had it come into effect, it would have “severely damaged the students.”

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