Building on their goal of internationalisation, Israel has included the international student cohorts in the immunisation process against COVID-19. Among the steps taken, one university has decided to vaccinate 500 international students and researchers from across the globe, on campus.
Israel’s vaccination programme has garnered a lot of success and applause. While fatalities have still ensued, statistics reveal that one in 1,500 fully-vaccinated individuals were tested positive for COVID-19.
Yaffa Zilbershats, the Chair for Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education, stated that through the inclusion of international students and researchers, Israel is displaying its commitment to enriching its higher education system through internationalisation.
Zilbershats added that the universities and academic institutions, during the pandemic have continued to provide the same high-quality education through “digital learning methods” and ensuring “... that cutting-edge research” continues.
The university staff at these institutions have been highly professional in providing assistance in dealing with the challenges faced due to the pandemic. Now with a successful vaccination programme, Israel is proud to provide full access to the vaccine.
The Government highlighted that a large number of international students have been immunised under their health care providers in a similar process as that of Israeli citizens.
Among the government initiatives, universities and academic institutions have been working towards assisting the students through the programme as well. Hebrew University in Jerusalem has partnered with the Israeli paramedic and Red Cross service, Magen David Adom, in a bid to set up a clinic in February. The clinic was set to vaccinate a minimum of 500 overseas students and researchers. Further, a 10-member group are scheduled to return in March and deliver the second dose.
Alongside Hebrew University, Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv University and the Interdisciplinary Centre Herzliya are in process of arranging similar clinics within their campuses.
Israel has become the first country to extensively provide its international student cohort, the vaccine, while other countries like the UK and Australia have announced their vaccination programme.
With this, the government also highlighted that internationalisation had been the priority for the Council for Higher Education, as a central element within the national higher education strategy of the country.