University to Reopen Israel Abroad Program

    After reviewing safety issues and security risks, the University of California has begun talks with the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in hopes of reopening the UC study-abroad program there beginning in fall 2009.

    The UC Academic Senate Committee on International Education approved the plan on Nov. 20, and UC Education Abroad Program Executive Director Michael Cowan is now negotiating terms for implementation of the program.

    The university suspended the EAP program in 2002 after the U.S. Department of State placed Israel on its travel warning list. In general, the university does not sponsor educational programs in countries included on the DOS travel warning list, but student complaints have prompted the UC Board of Regents to reconsider its policy.

    The UC risk assessment program now utilizes the services of a leading risk management technology company that analyzes crisis response data and regional intelligence to determine the changing security conditions of regions around the world. Based these new capabilities, an ad hoc regents working group, formed in August, has advised that an exception to the UC policy is warranted for a study-abroad program in Israel, as long as the university continues to monitor and manage the risks of studying in the country.

    “The university has undertaken a review of the education abroad program in Israel and concluded it is in the best interest of our students to once again provide educational opportunities in Israel,” Cowan said. “In today’s richly interconnected global economy, a study-abroad program at Hebrew University of Jerusalem would provide a unique academic and cultural opportunity for UC students.”

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