28 January 2013
The Technion will be rolling out a special new Russian Freshman Year Program in September. The goal of the program is to attract outstanding high-school graduates from the former Soviet Union, and provide them with an opportunity to study first year engineering and science in the Russian language at the Technion. While the freshman curriculum will be taught in Russian, students will be enrolled in an intensive Hebrew language program, so that they will be able to integrate to the regular Technion faculties (taught in Hebrew with Israeli students) in their second year of study.
Ariel Geva, the Director of the Technion International School of Engineering (ISE), said that this type of program is in fact a model of an academic “base year,” which prepares students for full integration to the mainstream study programs at the Technion following their first academic year. ISE has, up till now, only offered a Bachelor’s Degree Program (B.Sc. of Civil & Environmental Engineering) and Freshman Year of Engineering Program in the English language.
This unique new program will be launched in partnership with “Path” (“Nativ” in Hebrew), a government organization strengthening ties of Soviet Jewry to Israel, with offices in Russia, the Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltic states, Asia and the Caucasus. The organization runs Israeli Cultural Centers in 11 major cities. It will be supported by the “Masa Israel Journey” Organization, a joint project of the Israeli government and the Jewish agency to strengthen the connection of young Jewish adults living in the Diaspora to Israel, through programs that let them experience life in Israel. These programs typically last between six months to a year and include up to 200 different courses of study, volunteering or professional training opportunities.
In accordance with the admission terms of ISE, students will be required to complete the Technion’s pre-academic “Mechina” preparatory study program, over a 16 week period, administered by the university’s Center for Pre-University Studies. Professor Amnon Katz, Academic Director of ISE, emphasized that the experience students’ gain during their pre-academic studies has been proven to improve a student’s later academic achievements, helping them attain excellence in their studies and ultimately complete their engineering degrees. According to Professor Katz, this preparatory period promises an “easy landing” for students continuing their education at the Technion, and acts as an excellent filtering mechanism as well.
Upon completing this preparatory period, students will go on to study two Technion level semesters, which will include four basic science courses common to all Technion faculties. In addition, students will take a history course on the Middle-East, to gain more insight about Israel and its neighbors, and participate in a Hebrew Ulpan. The Hebrew Ulpan Program was designed in cooperation with the Technion’s Department of Humanities & Art, and is under its supervision.
Professor Arnon Bentur, Program Head of ISE, added that, “The Russian Freshman Program is based on the success of the comparable English Freshman Year of Engineering Program successfully administered by the Technion for a number of years. The English program attracts the best and brightest students from around the world, of which half of them come from developed countries and the other half from developing nations such as China and India.”