4 December 2012
In October of this year, some 37 young men and women from Russia began their studies in information technology security at Technion. This is a newly established joint project by the university’s Division of Continuing Education & External Studies and “Nativ”. At the end of the five-month course, graduates will receive an Information Security Manager certificate.
Professor Yehudit Dori, the Dean of the Division of Continuing Education & External Studies of the Technion, said that this group includes undergraduate students from Russia and the former Soviet Union. They earned bachelor’s degrees in computer science, economics, information systems and the like, and have come to Technion to obtain their CISM certification, a new five month course taught in Russian.
According to Professor Dori, “In the first group we expected an enrollment of only 20, but 37 came.” She added that, “Right from our first meeting I was very impressed with the high caliber of people in the program, and have since met with them at least once a month. The interaction with the students has been tremendous, and this led me to propose that they stay on for another five months at the Technion, and some 70 % immediately agreed. I offered them an opportunity to set-up a mentoring program as a follow up to the course, which would consist of weekly one to two-day hands-on industry experience in coordination with industrialist Mr. Yehuda Zisapel, who stood at the head of the Technion Alumni Association for six years. This proposition immediately spiked further interest, with 100% in favor for staying on for this mentoring program. All of the students are eligible to make aliyah under The Law of Return.”
At present, Dr. Niva Vengrovitz, a post-doctoral student in the Department of Education in Technology and Science at Technion, is setting-up connections for students in the industry; all of the students placed in the Israeli industry continuing education program will continue to the second phase of the project.
The director of “Nativ” Ms. Naomi Ben Ami, former Israeli ambassador to the Ukraine, said that the Technion course is run through the framework of the MASA Program, which brings thousands of students and academics from the Former Soviet Union to study in Israel. “We reveal to them a country with much to offer, in terms of knowledge and professional attainment, blended with a Jewish identity,” she emphasized. “Continued Aliyah to Israel is important for us, as is the human quality of our new immigrants. Participants in the Technion course are of especially high caliber.”
The students receive a monthly scholarship, learn at a Hebrew Ulpan, take English conversation lessons, live in the university’s dorm rooms and given guided tours around the country. They are also involved in volunteering works in the community, at retirement homes, kindergartens and charity organizations.
Mr. Oded Raviv, the Head of the Division of Continuing Education & External Studies at Technion, and Ms. Ella Blinderman, the Division’s Project Manager, said that about 80% of the participants in the course are academics, with 30 men and seven women enrolled in the program. “Many of them already notified us of their plans to stay in Israel at the end of the course and are looking into making Aliyah. We have no doubt that by the end of the second stage of the program, which will expand further on technology aspects and expose students to more Hebrew and English – that most of them will decide to settle in Israel permanently,” added Blinderman.
Ms. Irit Frommer-Kfir, the Head of Content and Activity Development at Nativ, said that the first stage of the course was taught entirely in Russian, and that in light of the success of the program – the planning of a follow-up course in March 2013 is in the making. She expressed hope that in the summer of 2013, a course for high-school graduates from Russia will be offered, in cooperation with the Technion International School, to encourage students to enroll into undergraduate engineering studies at the university.