The University of Haifa is about to become the first urban university in Israel: a university located in a large number of bases around the city, as an integral part of the fabric of urban life in Haifa in particular, and throughout Northern Israel in general

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Helmsley Health Discovery Tower, a joint project of the University of Haifa and Rambam Hospital

"One of the functions of a modern university is to serve as an engine for social change,” explains Prof. Ron Robin, President of the University of Haifa. “An urban university brings young students to the city; it brings technology and innovation; it serves as a catalyst for the development of high-tech and biomedical industries. It attracts social projects and social involvement. Becoming an urban university will strengthen Haifa and the entire North of Israel.”

The vision of Prof. Robin and of University Rector Prof. Gustavo Mesch is a vision of a ‘multiversity’ – a university comprised of numerous campuses, each specializing in a specific field of research. All the campuses collaborate in interdisciplinary studies, thereby contributing constantly to the creation of excellent and groundbreaking research.

The addition of the social commitment component creates the urban university. Prof. Robin’s vision was inspired by that of New York University. “In New York, NYU is scattered across the Downtown area, and the university perceives itself as an integral institution that draws its strength from the city and also gives strength to the city, precisely because it is dispersed within the immediate social fabric of New York City. The location of the campuses makes such universities agents for change in their city.”

So what does the vision of an urban university in Haifa include? The campus on Mt. Carmel will continue to be an important portal. Another focus will be in downtown Haifa, which in recent years has become a magnet for young people, on the one hand, and for the biomedical industry, on the other. In this area, the University of Haifa is establishing its Lorry I. Lokey City Campus, which will specialize in data sciences. At the campus of Rambam Medical Center, the university and the hospital are together establishing the Helmsley Health Discovery Tower, which will pursue biomedical research. In the Bat Galim neighborhood by the sea, the university is establishing its maritime research laboratories. Advanced negotiations are currently underway to merge ORT Braude College in Karmiel with the university – a move that is being supported by the Ministry of Education as an integral part of the plan to strengthen Israel’s North.

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