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  • Dr. Danielle Gurevitch, Director of the Asia Division, with some of the new Chinese students that she accompanied on a flight to Israel from Beijing

    Dr. Danielle Gurevitch, Director of the Asia Division, with some of the new Chinese students that she accompanied on a flight to Israel from Beijing

    University Welcomes Record Number of Chinese Students

    Date: 2017-10-30 Hour: 13:06

    A record number of Chinese students will be studying this academic year at Bar-Ilan University.  Thirty-five students from across China began their studies last week in various departments.  Among them, 15 undergraduate students in physics and multidisciplinary humanities, nine graduate students in business administration and translation and interpreting studies, and the remainder doctoral students in political science and natural sciences.

    Over the years, more than 100 Chinese students, including postdoctoral fellows, have studied at Bar-Ilan under the auspices of the Fred & Barbara Kort Sino-Israel Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

    The 2017-18 academic year is the first time that Bar-Ilan has absorbed Chinese undergraduate students.  Additionally, for the first time in Israeli academia, the multidisciplinary program in the Faculty of the Humanities has absorbed nine students who will complete their entire degree in Hebrew.  This is the result of an agreement signed with Sichuan International Studies University (SISU), Chongqing, a university specializing in foreign languages.  As part of the 1+3 agreement, the students completed their first year of instruction (at SISU) in Israeli history and contemporary Israeli studies, along with intensive study of the Hebrew language. Those who successfully passed all their exams were selected for the program.

    In an experimental initiative conducted in close cooperation with Shandong University, a leading Chinese university, Bar-Ilan signed a 3+1 agreement allowing Shandong students to conduct their first three years of Bachelor's degree studies in China and their fourth and final year at Bar-Ilan University.  This initiative is led by Dr. Yossi Ben-Zion, Deputy Chairman of the Department of Physics.

    Dr. Danielle Gurevitch, Director of the Asia Division, who initiated these programs and promotes academic cooperation between Israel and Asia, explains: "The potential for recruiting students from across Asia in general and from China in particular is enormous. There is a huge, almost incomprehensible, number of students in Asia. In China alone there are 35 million students in over 2,500 universities. India has a similar number. Of course, not all of these universities are at an appropriate international level, but it is clear that the law of large numbers is operating here. Even if only 8-10% of the researchers and students have potential, we are talking about millions. All the major universities in the world are courting these students. We have no reason not to be part of this trend."  Gurevitch adds that "the great interest in studying in Israel is no surprise.  Asia views Israel as a high-tech superpower and a nation of entrepreneurs and leaders of innovation on a global level. Bar-Ilan has outstanding researchers and wonderful study programs, and there is definitely a demand to study here. All that remains to be done is to make the University accessible to them, in research and in teaching, in such a way as to enable the mobility of foreign students in larger numbers than what we are witnessing today -- not only from Asia but from all over the world. I have been promoting Bar-Ilan in Asia for the past five years, and this year we are beginning to see the results in ever-increasing numbers. I believe that we are on the right track and I'm confident that the University will prepare accordingly."

    Adds Dr. Ben-Zion: "The Department of Physics has worked hard to absorb its new Chinese students and make them feel at home in their new environment.  We hope that we will continue to welcome them in increasing numbers."