Happy New Academic Year to all of the Members of the Academic Community
As we welcome the 2019/2020 academic year, we wish to share with you an overview of the International Office’s activity and achievements in 2018/2019, as well as new opportunities and plans for the future.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is investing in internationalization in order to preserve its standing as a leading research university, to promote excellence in teaching and research, and to create a thriving and vital international campus, in which students from across the globe study alongside Israeli students. Since its establishment, the International Office has worked in collaboration with the university community to advance internationalization.
During the 2018/2019 academic year, a record number of international students chose to come to the Hebrew University to study for advanced degrees, to participate in short programs and as part of student exchanges. In 2018/2019, over 3,000 students from 90 countries came to study at the Hebrew University and approximately 700 of the Hebrew University students traveled abroad to participate in a variety of credit bearing study programs, including student exchange, short programs and study tours. In addition, many students participated in individual research trips.
We thank our university partners in this endeavor for all of their efforts, and for the significant developments, progress and productive collaborations achieved in 2018/2019. We look forward with great excitement to another year of success and accomplishments.
1. Traveling the World: Overseas Study Tours and Student Exchange
The International Office is constantly striving to increase the number of Hebrew University students travelling abroad as part of their educational programs, in order to enrich and diversify the educational curricula and to provide students the skills they need in the global employment market. To this end, the International Office promotes collaborations with leading academic institutions around the globe, and provides financial support to students travelling to study abroad. The International Office also awards support grants for overseas study tours carried out as part of Hebrew University students’ academic program.
During 2018/2019, the Hebrew University signed 24 new student exchange agreements with leading universities worldwide, including Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Chicago and University of Tokyo.
Pictured: Professor Yigal Bronner, Hebrew University students and locals during a study tour to Western India for the course 'The Western Frontiers: Caves, Temples, And Protest Movements', under the aegis of Professor David Shulman and Professor Yigal Bronner from the Faculty of Humanities.
2. Academic and Administrative Staff: More Staff Training and Teaching Exchange
The Hebrew University’s academic and administrative staff plays an important role in internationalization of the Hebrew University. Staff mobility, exchange and training play an important role in this process.
During the 2018/2019 academic year, as part of the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility program, grants totaling about 100,000 euro were awarded to members of the HUJI academic and administrative staff, for participation in teaching and training programs at European partner universities.
On the flip side, HUJI hosted about 50 incoming academic and administrative staff for teaching and training.
Such professional exchanges are the building blocks for strong institutional level linkages and mutual professional and academic cooperation.
In addition to staff exchange, the International Office and the Division of Human Resources have been investing significant efforts in the last few years in staff training courses on internationalization and supporting international students. In 2018/19, 80 HUJI administrative staff participated in training courses.
What’s coming up in the 2019/2020 academic year?
We anticipate an increase in the scope of HUJI faculty members travelling to Europe as part of the Erasmus+ programs and hosting reciprocal visits; the fourth University training course on internationalization will take place at the beginning of 2020; and a course in practical English will be added for administrative staff members who support international faculty and students.
Pictured: Elinor Drachsler (middle), Research and Scientific Relations Coordinator in the Faculty of Medicine and colleagues, in a partners’ week at Radboud University, Netherlands, as part of the Erasmus+ program. Since her visit, Elinor also hosted a reciprocal visit to HU by a group of young researchers from Radboud University.
3. Promoting Collaborations with Strategic Partners
In order to deepen research collaborations with institutions abroad, the International Office and the Authority for Research and Development award seed funding grants to build strategic institutional- level cooperation and that enables researchers from the Hebrew University and researchers from partner universities to initiate joint workshops and joint research that will lead to joint publications and joint submissions to external competitive funding bodies.
In 2019, the Hebrew University signed new research collaboration agreements with a number of institutions, including Shanghai Jiao Tong University, National Nanotechnology Center in Beijing (NCNST), King’s College London and Utrecht University, Netherlands.
Pictured: Professor Danny Porath, Vice Dean for Research in the Faculty for Natural Sciences, and colleagues from the Hebrew University Center for Nanotechology and the National Nanotechnology Center in Beijing, during a visit in Beijing as part of the establishment of a research collaboration, in August 2019.
4. Advancing "Internationalization at Home"
The International Office encourages “Internalization at Home” throughout the Hebrew University’s campuses in a variety of ways, including:
- Participation in Erasmus+ WILLIAM project (2019-21) for advancing “Internationalization at Home”.
- Supporting international conferences hosted by the Hebrew University. The next call for the submission of requests for support for international conferences will be publicized in May 2020.
- Inviting international lecturers to conduct short designated courses at the Hebrew University’s various campuses.
- Encouraging development of courses conducted in English. During the 2019/2020 academic year, over 1,000 Hebrew University courses will be conducted in English. This constitutes about 15 percent of the total number of courses offered at the Hebrew University.
- Organizing joint social activities for local students and international students at the Hebrew University.
- Organizing various events throughout the year, such as the China Higher Education Seminar and Fair, in which 70 Chinese representatives participated; the HUJI International Partners Week, in which over 20 representatives from partner institutions in Europe and Asia participated; and designated events to promote student exchange.
5. Infrastructures: Building a Welcoming and Internationally Friendly Campus
In order to make accessible information and services offered to the international community, the International Office advanced a number of various infrastructure projects in 2018/19:
- The Authority for Computation, Communication and Information launched the English version of the “HUJIApp”, enabling HUJI students access to their personal information, pay their tuition fees by credit card and more. In addition, new registration forms in English for Stage 1 doctoral students were released and additional university registration forms in English are constantly being made available. Adaptation of additional systems for management of information and services for guests and post-doctoral students are also in process.
- The International Office is investing ongoing efforts to translate University websites, documents and systems, and offers HUJI units English translation services for circulars, notices, websites and more.
- HUJI is continuing to upgrade and adapt the University's signage, to accessible signage in three languages: Hebrew, Arabic, and English. This effort is being led by the Hebrew University's Building and Infrastructure Division in collaboration with the Office of the Rector, Office of the Vice President of Finance and Administration and the faculties.
6. Providing International Students with Support Services
Support services and a supportive environment are significant factors for international students when choosing the educational institution at which they wish to study. The International Office is dedicated to continuing to develop top-notch support, integration and care services for those joining the Hebrew University community from around the globe.
As of 2018/19 academic year, support services are offered to all of the Hebrew University’s international students. These services include pre-arrival guidance and assistance, social events, response and aid in emergency situations, guided tours of Israel and more.
The Rothberg International School provide a full support service package to all international students at the Hebrew University studying in Jerusalem, and the Faculty of Agriculture International School of Agricultural Sciences provides a full support service package to all the international students studying in Rehovot.
International students and lecturers are also afforded additional services by the International Office, including counseling and guidance in the event of difficulty obtaining the various types of visas, visa extension service, and housing of international lecturers and guests in guest apartments in collaboration with the Housing Unit.
What does 2019/2020 have in store?
- Provision of transportation services to the center of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on Saturday (Shabbat) by the “Shabus” Joint Transportation Organization.
- The launch of the “HUB” – Hebrew University Buddy program, designed to promote support for incoming international students by local students from orientation day and beyond enabling friendships between Israeli and international students.
- Expansion of pick-up transportation services from Ben Gurion Airport for arriving international students.
- Eligibility for international students and their partners to take Hebrew language study courses (Ulpan).
- Launch of professional relocation services for international faculty members – assistance in getting settled and integration in Israel.
Pictured: A warm reception for international students at Ben Gurion Airport.
7. Getting the Message Across: Establishing our International Marketing Unit
The International Marketing unit was established in 2018/2019 to increase the number of international students studying at the Hebrew University. The unit is working vigorously to set up the international marketing infrastructures, including digital marketing and publicity, establishing an international marketing call center, launching a new website for the International Office, creating up-to-date international marketing materials and student recruitment activity in China.
Under the aegis of the Albert Einstein Archives and the International Marketing Unit, on August 1, 2019 the Hebrew University launched the “Albert Einstein – Life in Four Dimensions” exhibition in Shanghai, China. The exhibition is based on the Einstein Archive collections located at the University. It is dedicated to Albert Einstein, his life, the science that he produced, and how he changed the world. The exhibition also highlights Einstein's connection as one of the founding fathers of the University.
Click on the image to watch the video “Einstein A 2 Z” that was prepared for the Einstein in Shanghai exhibition.
Best wishes for a fruitful and successful new academic year,
The Hebrew University International Office Team
Pictured: Hebrew University International Students.