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Visit to Israel (and Seminar for European Academics) and Meetings with Representatives of EMUNI Members and Higher Education Representatives in the Palestinian Occupied Territories

posted Dec 23, 2010, 2:45 AM by Denis Curcic | EMUNI
The President of EMUNI with the support of Dr. Yemini Miri, one of the keynote speakers of the EMUNI Higher Education conference in Slovenia earlier this year and of Prof. Dr. Moti Zwilling, one of the key EMUNI ENPI experts and in constant liaison with Prof. Arab Larafeh, member of the EMUNI Senate and key EMUNI Expert in the ENPI project conducted a number of meetings and visits in the region.

EMUNI Day - Israel, 14 December 2010

For the first time, SCE Shamoon College of Engineering, under the coordination of Dr. Yemini Miri, an expert on entrepreneurial education, present also for the latest Higher Education conference in Slovenia, the biggest engineering college in Israel was chosen to host EMUNI regional day in Israel that was held on 14/12/2010 at SCE campus in Beer Sheva.

The EMUNI day was opened by the Minister of Science and Technology of the State of Israel, Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, the Head of the European Commission Delegation to Israel, Ambassador, Andrew Standley, The Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr Boris Sovic, Prof. Joseph Mifsud, the President of EMUNI and other distinguished guests. More than 100 academics from 76 academic institutions from all over Israel participated in the EMUNI day including among others:
  • Dr Milli Perry, Head of Research authority Open University
  • Dr Moshe Ran, Head of Research authority Holon Institute of technology
  • Dr Sammar Marei, Head of Research authority Ort Braude
  • Prof Zvi HaCohen, Rector Ben Gurion University
  • Dr Uri Schattner, Haifa University
  • Dr Liat Maoz, Council of Higher Education
  • Prof Aharon Kellerman, President Zefat College
  • Mr Zvi Tal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel
The President also had meetings with the former Rector of Ben Gurion University, Prof. Jimmy Weinblatt and was also in touch with former rector of Haifa University, Prof. Yossi Ben Artzi and current Rector of Haifa University, Prof. David Faraggi, who sent their representatives to Beersheva.

The President of EMUNI visited also the University in Tel Aviv and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he met the Rectors, and vice Rectors, and Heads of Schools to discuss their collaboration to and within EMUNI.

In a very intensive week, a number of meetings were also held, organised and coordinated by Prof. Dr. Moti Zwilling with the Foreign Ministry in Israel (including meetings at the top level with the Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon) and with members of different members of Knesset who specifically focus on Higher Education, Science and Technology, including Mr. Yoel Hasson, Chair of the State Control Commission and with Mr. Daniel Ben Simon, Member of the Knesset. The discussions centred mostly on how students from the UFM can contribute to the development of peace and recognition of diversity in the region through the support of joint programmes. A proposal to be submitted by EMUNI would be reviewed by Israeli counterparts in the near future for funding and realisation. This project will be coordinated in Israel by the EMUNI Expert Prof. Dr. Moti Zwilling. Other meetings were held in SCE in Beersheva, in Ruppin College with the intent of increasing EMUNI participation in the region.

The President also had an intensive briefing and a planning meeting with Mr. Moshe Vigdor, Director General of the Council for Higher Education and the Planning and Budgeting Committee of Israeli Higher Education. During this meeting it was agreed that a Bologna seminar could be organised with the support of EMUNI for higher education institutions. It is expected that activities in this regard will also be coordinated by the EMUNI members in Israel such as Dr. Yemini Miri and Prof. David Faraggi, member of the EMUNI Senate.

Visit to Ramallah, Al Quds, and Nablus

The President also made visits to Ramallah for discussion on higher Education with the Palestinian Authorities and had a briefing on current Palestinian policies in this field with top experts in this area. A meeting was also held in Nablus, with the President of An Najah University, a founder member of EMUNI, Prof. Rami Hamdallah and with the President's Assistant for International Relations and Strategic Affairs, Dr Kherieh Rassas. Both expressed their constant support to EMUNI and briefed the

President of EMUNI about the mission of An Najah. President Rami Hamdallah outlined how An Najah features an international workforce and encourages exploration and promotes greater opportunity for cross-cultural understanding and diversity. In his words, "Through cooperation we can help contribute to a better quality of global practice which will increase cross-cultural understanding, improve contact between countries, and build long-lasting personal relationships and professional networks. We value and rigorously encourage academic excellence and competition to the highest degree. In doing so we have a mission to facilitate and aid the exchange of top students and academics through international programmes."

Dr. Kherieh Rassas outlined how An Najah constantly seeks to expand the horizons in terms of greater cooperation of mutual benefit with other leading academics, institutions and organizations on the highest international level.

Intensive meetings were also held with Prof. Dr. Arab Larafeh on new initiatives and positions to be adopted by EMUNI. These meetings were held in Jerusalem/Al Quds. It was agreed that an EMUNI day will be organised in 2011 in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to be coordinated by Prof. Larafeh and Prof. Rami Hamdallah.

The President of EMUNI is in constant touch with both Prof. Larafeh and with Prof. David Faraggi of Haifa University on conditions and forms of cooperation in the region. During the visit and for some of the meetings, the President was in the company of other eminent European Academics (some of them members of EMUNI) like Prof. Giorgio Dominese of Tor Vergata University, Rome, Prof. Dogu Ergil, University of Ankara, Prof. Iannis Mazis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Prof. Eric Millard, University of Nanterre-Paris, Prof. Michael Rainsborough of King's College, University of London, Dr. Esther Von Richtofen, Humboldt University of Berlin, and Prof. Wedigo de Vivanco, former President of the EAIE and a member of the Nafsa Bologna Task Force. Prof. de Vivanco and the President of EMUNI agreed to plan together an EMUNI day in Germany with the support of the DAAD and to further collaborate in the region with joint initiatives.

Prof. Ilan Chet, deputy secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean was also briefed about the meetings in the region for further developments that can be supported by the UfM.