Tel Aviv University is proud to announce its newly launched new Dual Degree Program with Columbia University.
As part of the Dual Degree Program, students will begin their college education in one of six academic programs at Tel Aviv University, and have the opportunity to immerse themselves in two elite research universities whose academic, social, and cultural environments allow students to take advantage of the best that both cities have to offer.
The Program, which will welcome its inaugural class in the fall of 2020, transcends traditional study abroad opportunities by providing the opportunity to pursue a rigorous undergraduate liberal arts education spanning two continents. Upon completion of the four-year program, graduates earn two bachelor’s degrees, one from each institution.
The program joins the Columbia University School of General Studies’ current portfolio of highly regarded international undergraduate dual and joint degree programs with Sciences Po, Trinity College Dublin, City University of Hong Kong, and List College of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). Created in 1954, the joint program with JTS was the first program of its kind to be established at the School of General Studies.
For any information such as admissions, costs & curriculum please visit the joint dual degree website.
A new study from Tel Aviv University found that during Israel’s first lockdown parents reported a significant decline in expressions of love for their young children (aged 3-5), compared to normal times. In addition, even though all members of the family were at home together, parents reported a significant decrease in parental leadership, and in setting rules and boundaries for their children.
The study, led by Prof. Dorit Aram, Head of the Early Childhood Research Laboratory at TAU’s Constantiner School of Education, examined parents’ behavior toward toddlers in Israel during the first lockdown (March-April 2020), and compared it to their behavior in regular times. The study surveyed 522 parents who filled out questionnaires. The parental behavior test was based on the Parenting Pentagon Model, consisting of five principles: partnership between caretakers, humane leadership, expressing unconditional love, promoting independence and imposing rules.
Loving behavior of parents toward their children is defined as: Loving behaviors include physical expressions of love (hugs, kisses, etc.), verbal expressions of love, encouragement, patience and sensitivity, expressions of empathy, and time spent together. The researchers found a significant difference between normal times and the pandemic.
The researchers note that during the pandemic parents spent more time with their children compared to regular times. Possibly, they had less of a need to show their love verbally and physically, because they paid more attention to their children on a daily basis. In addition, the researchers believe that the stress experienced by the parents, the crowded homes and the many hours spent together may have caused parents to “forget” the need to express love for their children, at a time when the children were in great need of loving behavior from their parents.
“This finding is somewhat surprising and even disappointing,” says Prof. Aram. “At times of crisis and stress, young children need their parents more than ever. They need a hug and words of affection, and yet parents did not express their love as often, and parental leadership, discipline and rule-setting were weakened. I hope that parents will learn from our study…and strive to exhibit more beneficial parenting practices under stressful conditions.”
The research examined several behaviors:
Parental leadership: Behaviors exhibiting leadership demonstrate parents’ place as leaders of the family and role models for their children. This behavior is characterized by assuming responsibility, setting goals related to raising the child, planning parental behavior (organizing the family in response to the new situation, preparing for changes, etc.) The study found that the implementation of this important principle was lower compared to normal times. The researchers claim that the pandemic has weakened parental control, and assume that in the chaos surrounding it, parents lost some of their efficacy in making decisions and setting goals for the family.
Partnership between caretakers: Partnership behaviors include a division of labor between parents, mutual support, the ability to resolve conflicts with mutual respect, presenting a common front to the child, presence in meaningful events in the child’s life, and agreement about how the child should be brought up. It might have been expected that with both parents at home, the level of cooperation would be higher than usual. The study, however, found no difference between the implementation of this principle in regular times and during the pandemic.
Promotion of independence: This behavior includes encouraging the child to become independent and to perform tasks suitable to age and abilities, while providing assistance when necessary. The study found that parents did not use time spent together to present challenges that could further their children’s independence, and continued to behave “normally” in this respect. The researchers emphasize that Israeli parents tend to be protective in normal times as well.
Rule-setting: For optimal family dynamics, the parent must create for the child a structured framework of rules, and implement it with persistence and authority. The parents who participated in the study reported a lower level of implementation of this principle. The researchers assume that this was caused by the lack of routine, timetables and activities outside the home.
Academic collaboration between Israel and Germany is growing, and for the first time, Tel Aviv University in Israel and Goethe University in Frankfurt will establish a joint center. With a focus on interfaith studies, the center will promote research on religion, in particular the monotheistic faiths – a field in which both institutions specialize. The two universities will conduct joint research, hold academic conferences, and train students and researchers in this field.
The agreement for launching the new center was signed during a dedicated “Germany Week” organized at TAU by TAU International and the Student Union of Tel Aviv University, the first is a series of international events led by TAU International and the TAU Student Union, promoting internationality and a global campus by focusing on the cultures of different countries and bringing them to the TAU community.
The signing was attended by the German Ambassador to Israel Susanne Wasum-Rainer, TAU President Prof. Ariel Porat, and the President of Goethe University, Prof. Enrico Schleiff.
“Tel Aviv university has a wide network of collaboration with German universities, more than with any other country in Europe,” says Prof. Milette Shamir, TAU’s VP in charge of international academic collaboration.
“This collaboration includes hundreds of joint research projects as well as hundreds of German students who come to our campus each year. The joint center expands this collaboration in an important new direction and tightens our existing partnership with Goethe University Frankfurt, one of the leading universities in Germany. We hope that in the near future the two universities will expand collaboration to several other areas of common strength.”
German TAU Students celebrating the International “Germany Week” on Tel Aviv University campus (Photo: Raphael Ben-Menashe)
The Start of an Even Closer Cooperation
Prof. Menachem Fisch, who heads the initiative at TAU says, “I am thrilled to be part of the establishment of a unique, first-of-its-kind center for the study of the monotheistic faiths and their mutual development. This is a worthy initiative, and one more building block in the academic collaboration between the two countries.”
Prof. Enrico Schleiff, President of Goethe University notes that, ”What we are agreeing upon today is, as far as I am aware, unprecedented – at least in the humanities in Germany.”
“It is not merely a formal cooperation between a German and an Israeli university, but rather the development of a highly visible, joint institutionalized international research center. The center is cross-departmental on both sides and working in an area of study that is most relevant to the German and the Israeli society alike: the history of and the present challenges in religious diversity, difference and conflict in pluralistic societies. It will focus on questions regarding inter-religious dialogue, religious fundamentalism and conflict, but also on the rich cultural heritage and the potential inherent in religious traditions. This center is the start of an even closer cooperation.”
Susanne Wasum-Rainer, Germany’s Ambassador to Israel says, “Academic exchange and cooperation is not only a constitutive pillar of German-Israeli relations. It is also a contribution to strengthening research and scientific progress as a global endeavor, in science as well as in the humanities. By declaring their will to establish a joint Center for the Study of Religious and Interreligious Dynamics, the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main and the Tel Aviv University address one of the urgent questions of our time, the role of religious communities in a changing and conflictual world.“
“This MOU marks a new milestone in the special relationship between the two universities and is also another bridge of understanding between Frankfurt and Tel Aviv. The new center will for sure contribute to a better inter-religious dialogue from different angles and perspectives,” concludes Uwe Becker, President of the German Friends Association of Tel Aviv University
The Gershon H. Gordon Faculty of Social Sciences at Tel Aviv University, under the leadership of its Dean, Prof. Itai Sened, is launching a new initiative that targets the global arena: The International Graduate School of Social Sciences. The School will offer a range of MA programs in the English language for students from all over the world, and host leading international experts, researchers, and lecturers. Full activities will commence in October 2022, at the beginning of the 2022-23 academic year.
The School’s first guest, who arrived this week, is Prof. Paul Romer from NYU, 2018 Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics, and one of the world’s most inspiring thinkers in his field. Prof. Romer is a staunch supporter of the new initiative and has agreed to lead the School’s excellent cohort of visiting scholars. During his current visit he conducted workshops for outstanding students and young faculty, delivered a lecture to the Friends of TAU, and give an interview to well-known Israeli journalist Guy Rolnik.
Dr. Ro’ee Levy from The Eitan Berglas School of Economics, who researches political economy and social media, on his meeting with Romer: “I am excited to meet a Nobel Laureate in Economics and hear his thoughts on burning economic issues. Prof. Romer won the Nobel Prize together with William Nordhaus for his research on economic growth, and explored how innovation contributes to long-term growth. While economists have already realized that entrepreneurship and knowledge contribute to economic growth, Romer explored the conditions that encourage more entrepreneurship. Instead of assuming that technological developments occur on their own at random, he modeled these developments as dependent on economic conditions. The obvious conclusion is that economic policy can encourage entrepreneurship and technological advancement and thus influence economic growth.”
Prof. Paul Romer is a staunch supporter of TAU’s new initiative
The International Graduate School of Social Sciences serves as an umbrella for the Faculty’s five existing international MA programs – Developing Countries (sustainable development), Migration Studies, Conflict Resolution and Mediation, Security and Diplomacy, and Cyber Politics and Government – which are annually attended by about 150 students, both international and Israeli. Five more programs will be added in coming years, including Climate, Trauma, and Public Health, bringing the number of students to approximately 300 annually. Upon graduation, most alumni will join international organizations and Non-Profit Organizations active in their fields of study.
Sened believes that the new School, in its very essence, manifests Israel’s leadership in many arenas related to the social sciences. “Everyone talks about the hi-tech nation,” he says, “but we have a great deal more to offer. Israel has accumulated immense knowledge and experience in many non-technological areas, and Israeli expertise is in great demand all over the world. Our School’s programs will address many of these disciplines, making the vast knowledge amassed here at Tel Aviv University, and throughout the state of Israel, accessible to the entire world.”
This claim is corroborated by most of the School’s current and future programs: Public Health (in collaboration with TAU’s Medical School) – a field in which Israel’s critical edge was revealed during the recent pandemic; Sustainable Development (with an emphasis on developing nations) and Climate Change – where Israel’s geographical location on the edge of the desert has generated considerable expertise; Trauma (collaboration with the Schools of Psychology and Social Work), Conflict Resolution and Security and Diplomacy – in which our country’s constant state of conflict has inevitably bred extensive experience; Migration Studies – whose complex issues are extensively explored in our multicultural nation of immigrants; Cyber Politics and Government (digital governance), relying on Israel’s technological prominence; and more.
The School’s wealth of MA programs will be complemented by a unique track to the PhD: 10 outstanding undergraduates, completing their BA at the Faculty of Social Sciences, will be admitted to an accelerated PhD program, which includes a scholarship for the entire period of studies, a co-supervisor from a leading university abroad, and a year of studies at the supervisor’s institution.
Academic faculty will benefit from the dynamic two-way flow of scholars generated by the School, with Israeli lecturers and researchers visiting top institutions all over the world, and their colleagues from other countries (20-30 every year, 2-3 at any given time), coming to TAU to conduct research and teach in the various international programs.
At present, the Faculty of Social Sciences is discussing a range of student exchange agreements with several world-leading academic institutions, including: the Johns Hopkins University branch in Bologna, Northwestern University in Illinois, Science-Po in Paris, and EUI (European University Institute) in Venice.
“The new International Graduate School of Social Science reflects the vision of the President of TAU,” notes Sened. “Namely, enhancing TAU’s visibility and leadership in the international arena. On the one hand, we attract students from all over the world, who wish to benefit from the knowledge accumulated here in Israel, and specifically at TAU, in the social sciences. On the other, we essentially ‘bring the world’ to Israeli students and faculty – in the form of world-class lecturers, researchers, and supervisors from around the globe. In this way, we reduce the regrettable ‘brain drain’ and encourage our excellent students and researchers to stay here with us. Ultimately, thanks to its dynamic entrepreneurial spirit, the School will become an international hub for the exchange of ideas and growth of knowledge in many areas of the social sciences that are at the heart of the human experience and critical challenges of our times.”
“Everyone talks about the hi-tech nation, but we have a great deal more to offer.” – Prof. Itai Sened, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences
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