Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Poor Return on Investment: Letters

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Poor Return on Investment: Letters

Article excerpt

Regarding "Israel Academia Monitor fears the enemy within" (News, 16 May): your article misses an important part of our round-table debate on academic freedom in Israel.

Radical scholars who use their positions to advocate a political agenda short-change students and taxpayers. The former are deprived of a sound liberal arts education that values the fair comparison of ideas, and the latter are forced to pay salaries to faculty engaged in political propaganda. As the round table heard, this state of affairs would not be tolerated in public universities in Germany, the UK or the US.

Israel's expansive definition of academic freedom has hurt the comparative standing of its social science, which trends below Western averages (in contrast, hard sciences and engineering in the country, free from political distortion, score well above average). In a highly competitive global economy, human capital matters: by any measure, Israeli taxpayers receive a poor return on their investment. …

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