|Dear Friends of Hadassah Academic College,
As the Chanuka festival approaches and time for joy and celebration is here, I am pleased to share with you the highlights on the start of our academic year.
I write these words as Israel recovers from the recent "Operation Pillar of Defense" on our southern border. Many of our students were called to active IDF reserve duty, and all are now safely back at home and in the classroom after being called to defend Israel. During the Operation, I was personally in contact with every student serving in the reserves as well as every one of our students whose family lives in the south of Israel to offer our help, comfort, and assistance. We are pleased and proud to welcome these students back to the College, and together with all Israelis wish only for quiet, peace, and security.
This year, just over 2,400 students began their undergraduate and graduate degree studies at our College. This represents an eleven percent rise in student numbers over the previous year, and follows an almost twenty percent rise in student numbers last year. These encouraging numbers indicate that more and more students from all parts of Israel are choosing to pursue their higher education at Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem as our career-focused bachelor's and master's degree programs offer promising opportunities in high-demand professions in Israel's most dynamic sectors.
One of the unique aspects of our College is that one-half of our students are the first in their respective families to pursue a college education so that once they begin studies, they tend to be serious and highly motivated for success. Our overall drop-out rate is no more than five percent, both because of our students' commitment to studies, but also as we provide each and every student with personal assistance to ensure that he/she will succeed in his/her studies.
Over one-half of our students come from outside of Jerusalem, and many remain in the capital following graduation to build their lives and pursue their careers. And over 50% of our students are able to pursue a college education thanks to scholarship support, generously provided by friends of the College from Israel and around the world.
As I reported in my last letter, our College has taken up the challenge to offer undergraduate degree studies to male and female ultra-Orthodox "haredi" students so that this key group in our society can productively enter the workforce, improve their quality of life, and in doing so, contribute to Israel's economic growth. Registration for this special program opened in November, and over 1,000 enquiries were received within a week's time. Students who are accepted to the program will soon begin a pre-academic preparatory course that will prepare them to start undergraduate degree studies next academic year.
We have also opened registration for our newly-established International School for Overseas Students, offering accredited courses taught in English in the spring and summer of 2013. Early responses indicate that we can expect to host students from different parts of the world. We look forward to offering the participants a memorable learning experience in which they will both enrich their knowledge as well as discover the beauty and diversity of Israel.
Finally, I am pleased to report that plans are well advanced for the construction of our new Interdisciplinary Science Center made possible through the great generosity of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. This new building, representing an expansion of our campus will facilitate our growth in student numbers and serve as a welcome venue for educational and cultural events in the very heart of Jerusalem.
Please do not hesitate to offer any and all comments or suggestions you may wish in regard to any of our programs and initiatives. I look forward to welcoming you on our campus when you next visit Israel so that I can share our vision with you.
Chag Chanuka Sameach! Sincerely,
Prof. Bertold Fridlender, President
Check out this great coverage on Haaretz on Hadassah Academic College>>