Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats speaks at the Jerusalem Post Conference.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, head of Israel’s Council for Higher Education’s planning and budget committee, launched “The New Campus,” which encourages digital learning, a more diverse student body, openness and entrepreneurship, and greater internationalization on the Israeli college campus.
Speaking at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York, Zilbershats said that Israel has an impressive higher education system that includes more than 300,000 students studying in 62 academic institutions around the country. The New Campus initiative is designed to utilize state-of-the-art courses online that can enhance the overall learning experience. Zilbershats noted that Israel has joined the international edX platform that was established by Harvard and MIT to allow local academic institutions to offer courses via this platform.
She explained that the New Campus initiative will also change the age and demographic profiles of college students. “We should be open and available to all segments of society – Arabs, ultra-Orthodox, Ethiopians, people in mid-career who need to update their knowledge, people who decide to change careers, as well people who want to study after retirement.”
Zilbershats says that the New Campus initiative will bring a spirit of entrepreneurship to campuses, helping transform academic institutions into places that encourage groundbreaking innovation and enable students to share their creative ideas with professors and professionals. Students will work together with lecturers, researchers and mentors to create meaningful, practical projects.
In addition, the Council for Higher Education wants to double the number of foreign students studying in Israeli institutions. “Israeli students need to study with students from abroad in order to create national academic and business contacts with people and companies,” she said.
The New Campus initiative, says Zilbershats, will enable the campus system in Israel to engage in excellence.The story was written in cooperation with Israel’s Council for Higher Education.
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