Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has welcomed students from Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Morocco to its Global Health Summer program for the first time this year, while the UAE’s foreign minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan also recently visited the Technion campus in Haifa.
The UAE and Israel are “significantly collaborating across the educational, research and technical sectors”, Sheikh Abdullah said on his visit.
“There are promising opportunities to enhance and develop this cooperation, and align it with the two countries’ efforts to achieve economic prosperity and sustainable growth,” he added.
The partnership between BGU and UM6P follows a 2021 agreement which was the first academic and scientific collaboration between universities in Israel and Morocco. Relations began in the Abraham Accords, which were initially signed in 2020 between the State of Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, and later included Morocco and Sudan.
Leading Israeli universities, including the Technion, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, were also involved in cooperation agreements on academic research collaboration with UM6P in 2021.
Sheikh Abdullah on his visit to Haifa. Photo: Technion
BGU has also signed an with the International University of Rabat, as leaders identified many common fields of study and research.
“This year, we had the chance to include also Moroccan students”
The collaboration with BGU is specifically focused on research in the fields of aquaculture, energy and ecological rehabilitation.
In their speeches, the presidents of the universities emphasised the strategic and historical nature of the agreement as it opens a window to a meaningful partnership between Morocco and Israel.
The institutions launched their student exchange program last summer in which five students from Morocco transferred to BGU to take the month-long Global Health summer course.
The course has been running every year for seven years, and students from India, China, the US and more have attended this course during the years.
“This year, we had the chance to include also Moroccan students,” BGU confirmed to The PIE News.
“They were all doctorate students,” BGU explained. The students “were first chosen by their home universities and applied for the program”.
“Then, an academic committee reviewed their profiles and all other applicants and only students with the requested academic background were admitted to the program,” BGU said.
The program, according to BGU, combines classroom study, professional field trips, and a one-week practicum. Students learn about various aspects of global health decision-making, such as globalisation, ethics, migration, and case studies like the global impact of Covid-19, climate change, AIDS, mental health, and more.
In addition, students receive a thorough social program including trips around the country and the Negev region, social activities with other international students, academic and general orientation session upon arrival.