(photo credit: Scott Krane)
Tel Aviv University has signed an agreement with Northwestern University in the US declaring the two institutions “sister universities.”
The agreement was signed this week during a visit to TAU by a delegation of officials led by Prof. Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University in Illinois.
“The purpose of having such a large delegation arrive in Israel is to strengthen academic cooperation between the two universities,” he said during his visit.
Schapiro praised the “high level of research” at TAU and said he hopes that the agreement will lead to a deeper academic relationship with the Israeli institution.
TAU president Prof. Joseph Klafter thanked Schapiro for “determinedly and energetically standing with Israel” against attempts by US academic organizations to boycott Israeli educational institutions for political reasons.
An academic boycott would be contrary to the essence of academia, which is characterized by freedom of opinion and research, the two presidents said.
As part of the agreement, the two institutions expanded their academic cooperation to include joint programs, collaborative research projects, combined seminars and workshops, and shared guidelines for graduate degrees and student and faculty exchanges.
Students will be able to apply for joint programs in public health, law and technology, besides the joint study programs for dual academic degrees in business management and law. The agreement calls for partnerships with the music department and the film and television studies department.
Both institutions decided to examine the possibility of cooperation with the Northwestern University campus in Qatar and forging the way for Qatari students to study at TAU .
Joining the delegation were undergraduate students from Northwestern University in Israel to study for a semester at TAU in the fields of public health, management, emergency and disaster management, Israel studies and Middle Eastern studies.
Prof. Raanan Rein, vice president of TAU , said that the visit was an important element in the “strategy for the globalization of the university.”
TAU is home to the largest number of international academic programs in Israel, he said.