The 2020-21 academic year is set to start this Sunday October 18, 2020 and BGU is ready to teach remotely and via a hybrid model. The Council for Higher Education has decreed that the semester will start online, but BGU has invested heavily in creating classrooms to support the hybrid teaching model - where a small amount of students attend in person while others attend online. The hybrid model will be implemented in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
90 classrooms have been outfitted with motion sensing cameras to track the lecturer. Online learning areas have been set up on campus as well as open air classrooms. A new MyBGU app will provide students with all the relevant information about their classes and grades and provide a means to register for hybrid classes when they become available. The app is available for iOS and Android.
The University’s research activities will continue as usual, including student research.
In order to encourage students to return to Beer-Sheva, the University inserted a “corona clause” in its dormitory rental contracts that will enable students to get out of their contracts without penalty depending on the pandemic situation.
There has been a 12% increase in new students at BGU and a 5% increase in the overall student body - undergraduate and graduate. Well aware of its current and future students’ financial needs amidst the pandemic, the University launched an emergency campaign to raise funds to support them in May. The SOS: Save the Class of COVID-19 campaign has raised over $5 million so far, contributing significantly to the increased enrollment.
There have also been some specific significant increases in registration, as it appears the coronavirus is shaping students’ degree choices:
Emergency medicine has seen a 60% increase in registration for its undergraduate program and a 25% increase in its graduate program. Nursing is up 50%.
150% increase in registration for ecology and conservation.
30% increase in Engineering (undergraduate and graduate degrees).
The Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management has experienced a 63% increase in registration.
In addition, BGU is offering new cutting-edge multidisciplinary degree programs this year.
Dual Degree in Humanities and Computer Science
Graduates with a multidisciplinary background are becoming more and more in demand in the labor market and academia. This degree combines the most in demand field in academia - computer science - with the humanities. Students can combine computer science with literature, Bible, philosophy, archeology or psychology.
The Spirit of Hebrew: A multidisciplinary program in the Humanities
A liberal arts program that offers up the gems of Jewish and Israeli culture. The program is a collaboration between 7 departments and tracks: Jewish History, Hebrew Literature, Jewish Thought, Hebrew Language, Bible and the Ancient Near East, Israel Studies and Arab-Judeo Culture Studies.
Education, Politics and Social Change
Combined program for students interested in education as a tool for social change and to acquire the skills to critique society and politics in Israel and in other places.
Arabic in Arabic
BGU is at the forefront of a revolution in the instruction of the Arabic language in Israel. The Department of Middle East Studies offers an intriguing look at the societies which have developed in the region from the rise of Islam to the modern day.
Content Writing Course
The Department of Hebrew Literature is offering a practical course to learn critical reading, and writing a variety of types of content such as news articles, magazine articles, marketing content and branding.
Additional new courses being offered: The 90’s; Beginner’s Farsi; Drugs and Society in the Middle East; History, Forgetting and Memory: The Spanish Influence and The Origins of Beauty.
The breakout technologies of the 21st Century. The Department of Physics has launched a new track in quantum technologies open to everyone without prerequisites.
Systems Engineering (M.Sc.)
A flagship program to fill the humanpower gap in the industry. System engineers solve mechanical and technical problems while also learning how to integrate multiple systems and the systems-human interface.
Accessible Tourism Management
Students will delve into critical topics related to disabilities and tourism. Guest lecturers, field trips and a hackathon will offer practical knowledge.
Demand is high for all new programs and courses with quotas being met or exceeded.Media Coverage:The Jewish Press