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President's Message

2020 Hadassah Academic College's President's Report

Innovative learning for a changing world
Prof. Bertold Fridlender

During the last several years, we have become accustomed to reporting the remarkable and sustained growth of our student body, which we witnessed yet again this year. With the opening of the 2020-2021 academic year we can attest that, over the last 8 years, the number of students studying at HAC has more than doubled. Beyond anything else, this trend reflects the level of satisfaction that our students and graduates feel, and the messages they convey to one another about their experience at the College.

Last year we were forced to deal with a number of significant challenges that were imposed upon us. The Covid-19 pandemic required all institutions of higher education in Israel to transition to online learning in a very short time, and we started the second semester in March of 2020 exclusively online within just 2 weeks of the directives from the health authorities prohibiting conventional frontal instruction. I am proud to say that we executed this transition with great success. We even took time during the past summer to draw conclusions from last year, in order to prepare for the current academic year, during which we still hope to integrate both a limited amount of frontal instruction on campus alongside with online learning.

Our motto "innovative learning for a changing world" isn't just a slogan.

These words reflect our proven ability to adapt to change, which we once again demonstrated, establishing that HAC is a leading institution of higher education, and one that trains students for relevant, long-term career opportunities. Our experience during Covid-19 has proven not only the relevance of HAC from an academic perspective, but also the relevance of our focused academic degree programs - which are uniquely tailored to the labor market. Consider, for example, our many graduates who, along with members of our faculty from the Departments of Medical Laboratory Sciences and Biotechnology, participated (and are still involved) in the national effort to contain the pandemic. We truly have good reason to tout, as we love to say, that a Bachelor's degree from HAC is "always essential."

Nevertheless, the challenges and difficulties that emerged also presented certain opportunities. There were opportunities to improve the quality of our teaching methods, and to convey new technological skills to our students. We also had an enhanced opportunity to expand our internationalization efforts through new English language courses online for audiences abroad, and we know that there are even more opportunities in the offing.

On another front, we set a record last year with respect to the number of research publications that were published by our academic faculty, which clearly attests to the international academic stature which we have attained, and which directly influences the quality of the instruction we afford our students.

The last academic year marked a milestone for HAC. We commemorated that the College was first established a full twenty-five years ago, and has since become an influential institution both inside and outside of Jerusalem. This has been achieved by consistently providing an excellent level of higher education to young Israelis, by attracting students to live and learn in Jerusalem, and through the abundant community service activities that we orchestrate and which we encourage during each and every year.

I'd like to acknowledge and thank all those individuals who supported us during the past 25 years of our existence, and especially during this past year, which was rife with difficult changes and challenges. You are an inseparable part of HAC, and we couldn't provide such a high level - and accessible - education to our deserving students without you.  

With warm regards,
Prof. Bertold Fridlender