Israeli Colleges to Start Academic Year With Remote Learning

Plan assumes coronavirus lockdown will continue after holidays with a mixture of remote learning and in-person classes

Shira Kadari-Ovadia
Shira Kadari-Ovadia
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Students at the Tel Aviv University, November 10, 2018.
Students at the Tel Aviv University, November 10, 2018. Credit: Moti Milrod
Shira Kadari-Ovadia
Shira Kadari-Ovadia

The academic year for higher education will start with remote learning only, the Committee of University Heads in Israel announced on Tuesday, on the assumption that the lockdown restrictions will continue even after the holiday period.

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The committee added that later in the semester, the institutions will examine the possibility of returning students to campus, depending on the national infection rates. Academic institutions have in recent weeks published plans combining remote learning and in-person classes. Many institutions have also informed first-year students that they will make an effort to allow them to come to campus several times a week to facilitate their adjustment to university and college studies.

Givat Ram Campus at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, September 17, 2014.Credit: Emil Salman

“Students and faculty members must prepare for the coming schoolyear,” Tel Aviv University rector Prof. Eyal Zisser told Haaretz. “You can’t send out a different message every day, it’s not fair and it’s undignified.”

Zisser says that “when returning to studies on campus is a realistic option and the government decides to allow it, we’ll definitely return to the plans we’ve prepared, combining remote learning with a more limited presence in classrooms.”