Points of clarity

August 20, 1999

I would like to comment on the article "UK caught in the 'degree-sale' crossfire" (THES, August 13) in which I am extensively quoted by your reporter Phil Baty. The quotes attributed to me are accurate, and I am happy to stand by the views expressed.

However, the juxtaposition of the remarks I made and the specific mention of one or two institutions, notably Derby University, may have given the impression that I would be happy to see the licence application of those universities rejected. This does not reflect my views and may do a disservice to the clearly stated intent of Derby, among others, to meet the requirements of (Israel's) Higher Education Council.

The amendment to the higher education law aims to regulate the activities of overseas-based universities and to open the Israeli education market to competition. The Knesset legislators have clearly expressed their intent that overseas universities that meet the standards required should be able to operate in Israel.

In the same way that we expect British universities to comply fully with the requirements of the amended law, we expect the Higher Education Council to clarify any misunderstandings and allow reasonable time for compliance.

The British Council in Israel will continue to give advice and guidance to universities that wish to operate in Israel and will encourage those that are prepared to make the financial and other resources available to maintain the quality standards of which Britain is justly proud and which Israel expects.

Jack Schuldenfrei Deputy director The British Council, Israel

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