Israeli reservists win concessions

May 4, 2001

Israeli students who are also reservists in the defence forces have been granted a number of academic and financial concessions, according to student leaders.

A series of meetings between student and government representatives has led to the establishment of a special authority on university campuses to deal with reservists' problems, the option of taking examinations later than originally planned, special teaching assistance and free summer courses to enable the reservists to catch up with their studies.

Reservists will also be entitled to receive financial compensation for the days' work they are missing, reimbursement for travel expenses, national insurance payment starting from their 26th day of service and a 300 shekel grant (£44), with 100 shekels for each additional day in service.

Guy Kellner, chairman of the National Union of Israeli Students, said that student representatives were trying to get the payment started from the reservists' 15th day of service. He called the moves "really good steps if it is just a beginning".

Israeli men between the age of 21 and 51 must serve in the army for several weeks each year. Some 50,000 reservists (out of 200,000 general degree students) are in Israeli higher education.

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