Aliyah to Academia is a new and unique annual program, designed for immigrants from Russian-speaking countries aged 17-27, interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering and natural sciences at BGU.
The program is an initiative of BGU, but run with the assistance of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and the Ministry of Education.
“It was clear to us that some of the immigrants would be scientists, some students would be in the middle of their studies and some would young people who are interested in starting academic studies,” Shmuel Dovrat, spokesperson for BGU, told The PIE News.
“For each of these populations, we have developed dedicated absorption processes in order to provide them with the opportunity to integrate into higher education in Israel and to develop the social opportunity that the state was faced with.
“As far as the university is concerned, the preparations for this are natural and relatively easy, as since immigration from Russian-speaking countries began the university has absorbed many scientists, faculty members and students, so today we have the ability to open dedicated courses in Russian,” he explained further.
“Today we have the ability to open dedicated courses in Russian”
The university is currently working to mobilise the necessary resources to create a program that provides a framework and an assistance scholarship fund for these young students, 34,150 NIS each, in order to give them full support for easy absorption and integration into academic studies.
The program provides intensive training for learning Hebrew for approximately 1,000 hours of study, and six academic courses granting undergraduate credits.
It is headed by Louisa Meshi of the Department of Materials Engineering at BGU, who herself immigrated from Ukraine in 1990.
During the 2022-2023 academic year, six courses will be offered to 50 students as part of the program, for students who meet the prerequisites: two physics courses, 2 maths courses, linear algebra courses and a programming course.
Immigrants participating in the program can enrol in undergraduate programs at the university, without the need to take the Israeli Psychometric Entrance Test, and receive credits towards the degree. The course content and exams will be identical to those taught by all students, however, participants of the initiative will study and be tested in Russian.
In the summer of 2023, program participants will be able to register for undergraduate studies at the university together with all students in Israel.
As part of the program, participants will receive additional services, including mentoring support groups and personal counselling, social and psychological assistance, if needed.
The program will also include activities to get to know the country and field trips that will allow participants to get to know their new home.