Tel Aviv University will offer dozens of scholarships to Ukrainian academics whose studies and research have been threatened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has so far displaced more than a million people.
As the conflict in Ukraine enters its eighth day on Thursday, the university has announced plans for about one million shekels.
The initiative invites Ukrainian students and researchers to spend the next semester in Israel and to continue their academic work at Israel’s largest university.
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Scholarships offered by the university include tuition fees and the cost of living in Israel.
“The University of Tel Aviv will soon be in contact with the embassies of both Israel and Ukraine, as well as with their academic colleagues, to facilitate the entry of researchers into Israel in the next few days,” the university said in a statement.
The academic body described Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “red line that requires all of us to make every effort to help the Ukrainian people, many of whom have become homeless refugees overnight.”
The University has indicated that as an institution with a “banner of academic independence”, it has a responsibility to provide “immediate assistance to our Ukrainian colleagues”.
More than a million people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said late Wednesday, the fastest mass exodus of refugees in a century. The agency predicts that up to 4 million people could eventually leave Ukraine.
Professor Ariel Porat, president of Tel Aviv University, said: “The steps we are taking are certainly decent. “However, we hope that Israel and other academic institutions around the world will follow our example and lend a helping hand to the people of Ukraine in this difficult situation.”
Government Israeli efforts to facilitate the entry of Ukrainian refugees into Israel have focused on the majority of Ukrainian Jews. The Jewish organization said last week that it had received thousands of inquiries from Ukrainian citizens about immigration to Israel.
Israel’s official position on the conflict was a subtle strategy in providing humanitarian aid and silently condemning Russia, trying to balance its warm relations with Kiev and sensitive relations with Moscow, mainly because of Russia’s activities in Syria and the need to coordinate Israeli operations in the region. With the Kremlin.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel had “sent three planes full of humanitarian aid, mostly medicine, and we will send more if needed. We are preparing to provide humanitarian assistance on the ground and of course to facilitate the migration of Jews from all relevant places.”