UC to Reopen Education Abroad Program in Israel in Fall 2009

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Date: 2008-11-25
Contact: Chris Harrington
Phone: (202) 974-6314
Email: Chris.Harrington@ucdc.edu
After a review of safety issues and the means available to monitor and mitigate security risks, the University of California is in discussions with the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University of Jerusalem with the intention of reopening UC’s study abroad program there as of fall 2009. It is hoped that students will be able to enroll for studies as soon as summer 2009.

“The university has undertaken a review of the education abroad program in Israel and concluded it is in the best interest of our students to once again provide educational opportunities in Israel,” said UC Education Abroad Program acting Executive Director Michael Cowan. “In today’s richly interconnected global economy, a study abroad program at Hebrew University of Jerusalem would provide a unique academic and cultural opportunity for UC students. UC once again will be connected to a leading higher education institution in Israel and is continuing to provide international opportunities to students to study abroad in more than 34 countries supported by the university’s Education Abroad Program office.”

On Nov. 20, the UC Academic Senate Committee on International Education approved the academic plan for the program at Hebrew University. Cowan is now negotiating terms for the full implementation of the program, and information about the application process will be made available at a later date.

The university suspended the program in 2002 following the listing of Israel on the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) travel warning list. As a matter of policy, the university does not sponsor education abroad programs in any country listed on the DOS travel warning list. Meanwhile, UC students have pursued independent study in Israel for many years, and continue to be able to do so and to receive UC academic credit.

In March 2006, the UC Board of Regents asked a special committee to examine the university’s policies regarding education abroad programs, particularly in countries where the U.S. State Department has issued travel advisories. The committee included Regental, student, academic and community leadership. A report was provided to the Board of Regents in May 2006. While it did not recommend reopening an EAP program in Israel, it did suggest measures to ensure that students studying in Israel on third party programs not be disadvantaged with respect to credit transfer or continuing registration at their home UC campus, for example. These measures are now in place on all campuses.

In August 2008, the university’s provost directed an ad hoc working group to advise on whether the university, as an exception to policy, should re-establish the education abroad program in Israel. After reviewing the risks and the means available to the university for managing them, the working group advised that an exception to policy would be warranted for an EAP program in Israel, contingent upon implementing certain provisions pertaining to the university’s ongoing monitoring and management of risk.

Over the past few years, the university has enhanced its risk assessment program and now has access to the services of a leading corporation specializing in risk management technology, integrated crisis response and the analyses and assessment of intelligence and changing conditions for regions around the world. These services also include access to a Web-based tool allows UC to monitor conditions, including political and social, within regions of a specific country so as to make an informed assessment of risk on the latest intelligence.

The proposal for a program at the Rothberg International School would re-establish EAP’s partnership with an internationally ranked university. All EAP students would be required to take a summer course in modern Hebrew, followed by a semester or year at the university, enrolling in courses taught in English and, if their language skills are sufficient, in Hebrew.

For more news and information about the University of California: www.universityofcalifornia.edu

For additional information on UC education abroad programs and opportunities: www.eap.ucop.edu

UC to Reopen Education Abroad Program in Israel in Fall 2009

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