Tel Aviv University (TAU) and New York City's Columbia University will be offering a four-year joint degree in Liberal Arts intended for both Israeli and international students, following an agreement signed by both schools, according to a press release from the former on Tuesday.
The program will focus on interdisciplinary and academic breadth, in which students during the first two years will study at TAU, followed by the final two years at Columbia University's campus in New York City. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, studies for the time being will be held online. In this year's first cohort, about 30 Israeli and international students will begin their studies.
Most of the courses offered largely focus on the humanities, such as philosophy, history and literature, but will also include sciences and social sciences as well as courses in innovation and entrepreneurship.
The program also emphasizes excellence, with the students admitted to the program being required to meet the stringent admission requirements of both schools.
Milette Shamir, Vice President for International Affairs at Tel Aviv University, praised the agreement between the two universities, saying: "I am very excited that a program we worked so hard on is finally underway. This is the first program of its kind in Israel and a groundbreaking collaboration between an Israeli university and an elite American university.""Liberal arts studies provide students with a rich basket of critical, analytical and other tools and allow graduates of the program a broad and in-depth acquaintance with the worlds of the humanities and society, along with training in life sciences and entrepreneurship," she said. "On the other hand, it will provide an opportunity for Israeli students to acquire an academic education at one of the leading universities in the world."