19. March 2019

Rectorate visits Israel Rectorate visits Israel

University of Bonn Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch and the Vice Rector for International Affairs, Prof. Dr. Stephan Conermann, along with a high-ranking delegation of representatives from the faculties and the university management visited Israel. The delegation included representatives of the two theological faculties, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the International Science Forum and the University’s International Office.

Rectorate delegation visits Israel
Rectorate delegation visits Israel - Back row from left: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch, Prof. Dr. Bethany Walker, Rahel Hutgens, Susanne Maraizu, Sarah Spiegel, Prof. Wolfram Hilz und Dr. Oren Gutfeld. Front row from left: Omer Ze'evi, Dr. Gideon Avni, Prof. Yuval Gadot, Prof. Ulrich Berges, Dr. Kai Sicks, Dr. Enrico Fels, Prof. Reuven Amitai und Prof. Hans-Georg Soeffner. © Universität Bonn
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The delegation held numerous talks, exploring, for example, opportunities for new and wider cooperation. They met with the university management of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa and the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya.

Vice Rector Prof. Conermann explains the significance of the trip for the international strategy of the University of Bonn: "With more than 80 collaborations in research alone and many years of successful cooperation with the Hebrew University, but also with other Israeli universities, Israel is one of our priority countries in international exchange."

Especially in the Faculty of Arts, among others in the subjects ancient studies, archeology, Asian and Islamic studies, German studies, cultural studies, philosophy, theology, there had already been various individual contacts and joint projects. But also, in other fields - such as geology, mineralogy, paleontology, medicine, economics, mathematics and physics - there is already today lively professional exchange with Israeli institutions.

Mutual exchange in sight

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been Bonn’s partner university for many years. Discussions about the mutual exchange of students, lecturers and staff within the Erasmus program have taken place also with the universities in Tel Aviv and Haifa. The IDC also initated the establishment of a visiting professorship that would enable Bonn professors to conduct research and teach in Herzliya.

The delegation from Bonn also met with the Presidents of the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) in Haifa and the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot. Both are among the top institutes for education and research in Israel, especially in the field of natural and life sciences. Finally, the delegation was also a guest at the Dormition Mariae Abbey in Jerusalem, where Bonn theological students have successfully participated in a theological year of study for many years.

Establishment and expansion of bilateral contacts and networks

The delegation trip took place against the background of Middle East funding program by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It sends students annually - mainly in the field of medicine - from Israel to Bonn. The aim of the short-term scholarship program, for which more than 1,000 students have applied since 2004, is the establishment and expansion of bilateral contacts and networks to intensify scientific cooperation. In this context, more than 300 Israeli students spend up to three months at universities and institutes of higher education in North Rhine-Westphalian conducting research relevant to the preparation of their bachelor's and master's theses.

Back in Bonn, Rector Prof. Hoch drew a very positive conclusion: "The trip was a complete success, in order to expand our networks, to launch innovative cooperation projects and to win new partners and friends in Israel."

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