At the end of the first successful year of Bar-Ilan University’s medical faculty in Safed, 54 students received scholarships totaling NIS 700,000 on Sunday as the country’s fifth medical school prepared to accept 120 additional students in the fall.

The scholarships were awarded to students who returned to Israel from medical education abroad and wanted to continue their studies in the Galilee.

A total of 124 students learned in the Safed institution in the past year. In addition to the 54 who returned from studies abroad were 70 students who have a bachelor’s degree in science and shifted to medicine for a four-year course. The returnees are already doing clinical work in hospitals in the region, said faculty dean Prof. Ran Tur- Kaspa. There were a total of 520 applicants for the next medical school class of 120 students.

The scholarship ceremony was attended by Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, who is also regional development minister, Safed Mayor Ilan Shohat, Tur-Kaspa and Rothschild- Cesarea Foundation deputy head David Efrati.

Shalom said the new faculty is a boon for the Galilee and for the return of Israelis who left to study abroad. Within a decade, the institution is expected to train 1,000 students and add 5,000 jobs to the region, as well as substantially upgrading health services in the north.

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