Online meeting between educational institutions of the Republic of Belarus and representatives of the Holon Institute of Technology (Israel) was held on April, 12.
Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) was founded in 1969. The institution focuses on science and technology, and design and visual art, and offers diverse programs that enhance the interdisciplinary approach. The programs range from industrial design to visual communication design, to various specializations in engineering, science and technology.
Holon Institute of Technology is implementing a unique program for the training of specialists in the field of digital medicine, which will become a pre-medical program for those interested in medical research.
The online meeting event was organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the State of Israel, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus, State Educational Institution “Republican Institute of Higher Education” and the Holon Institute of Technology.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the following Belarusian higher educational institutions:
The Belarusian State Medical University was represented by the Rector - Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Sergey P. Rubnikovich, First Vice-Rector - Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Irina N. Moroz, Vice-Rector for International Relations - Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Vasili V. Roudenok, as well as Chairman of the Board of Founders of BelInter Media Service LLC Naum Y. Furash.
The moderator of the meeting, Vice-Rector for International and Scientific-Methodical Work of the Republican Institute of Higher Education Ludmila S. Kozhukhovskaya noted in her welcoming speech that the bilateral Belarusian-Israeli relations in the field of higher education and science are developing rapidly. Thus, institutions of higher education of Belarus have 8 direct bilateral agreements on cooperation with partners from the State of Israel. It was also noted that the impetus for the development of fruitful cooperation with the Holon Institute of Technology was the visit of representatives of Belarusian universities to the State of Israel in 2019. Using an interdisciplinary approach to education, the Holon Institute of Technology has become a promising partner for many specialized Belarusian universities.
President of the Holon Institute of Technology, Professor Eduard Yakubov expressed gratitude to the participants of the online meeting for their interest in enhancing cooperation with the HIT. He noted that the institute pays great attention to the development of international cooperation. HIT has cooperation agreements with 109 universities from 33 countries of the world. According to Eduard Yakubov, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the whole world that in fact there are no borders between states and continents. Thanks to modern information technologies, the world has turned into one “small village” and now we witness the “era of Zoom”.
Professor Yakubov stressed that Belarusian scientists have contributed to many spheres of life: culture and music, mathematics and computer science, architecture and construction and, of course, medicine. Nevertheless, Israel can offer Belarusian partners its own experience in startup development (the State of Israel is the second after the United States in terms of the number of startups per capita), as well as the introduction of IT technologies. Israel and Belarus are connected not only by the historical past, but also by the mutual desire to develop dynamically in the changing world. Eduard Yakubov sees the mission of the Holon Institute of Technology as being a bridge between the universities of Israel and Belarus.
According to Professor Yakubov, the cooperation with the Belarusian State Medical University in the field of IT medicine is the most promising area. Moreover, the Holon Institute of Technology is successfully implementing a program of training of specialists in the field of digital medicine, so that HIT is very interested in such kind of mutual cooperation with Belarusian medical specialists.
Professor David Shoikhet, Vice President for Academic Affairs of the Holon Institute of Technology, noted that education in Belarus is of high quality, having combined the best traditions of the Soviet medical school and modern trends and innovative technologies. Taking into account the common culture and mutual interest in cooperation, professor Shoikhet considers partnership with universities of Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Belarus to be the most forward-looking.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the State of Israel Yevgeny Vorobyov in his welcoming speech expressed gratitude to the participants for the desire to develop bilateral cooperation in the field of education and science. The Ambassador noted that the Belarusian-Israeli cooperation in all areas of the economy has flourished in recent years. Thus, according to Yevgeny Vorobyov, the Belarusian-Israeli trade turnover grew by 13%, bilateral exchanges for lectures, consultations, and participation in various scientific events were actively developing. The Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the State of Israel strives to support any cooperation initiatives, both from the side of Belarusian organizations and from the Israeli side. Yevgeny Vorobyov also expressed gratitude to the Holon Institute of Technology represented by President Eduard Yakubov for their willingness to conduct a dialogue with Belarusian universities in all areas of prospective cooperation.
Rector of the Belarusian State Medical University, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor Sergey Rubnikovich presented the leading medical institution of higher education. Rector emphasized that this year the University will celebrate the 100th anniversary and invited Professor Eduard Yakubov and his colleagues to take part in the festive events dedicated to the anniversary of our Alma mater.
The Rector noted that the Medical University has highly qualified teaching staff, modern clinical facilities and comfortable living conditions for students. One of the most important priorities of the university is to improve the quality of medical specialists training. That is why systematic work is carried out to introduce innovative forms and technologies of teaching, curricula are being improved and programs for improving the qualifications of the teaching staff are being implemented.
According to professor Rubnikovich the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of introduction of IT technologies in medicine and medical education. By the way, computer technologies are extensively used in the field of dentistry: 3D modeling, digital dental photography, computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing of dentures, optimizing clinical documentation, etc. The University actively cooperates with the residents of Belarus High Technologies Park in the field of integration of information and communication technology into medical practice and medical education.
The Belarusian State Medical University in cooperation with BelInter Media Service LLC successfully implement a joint Belarusian-Israeli project to train Israeli citizens. The project is a 4-year educational program in English based on the International Standard of Medical Education according to the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) system for applicants - citizens of Israel, USA, UK, Canada with higher education in related medical specialties, in order to continue training starting from the 3rd year. Currently, 39 Israeli citizens are studying at the University within the framework of joint Belarusian-Israeli project, the total number of Israeli students is 88.
Professor Rubnikovich emphasized that cooperation between the Holon Institute of Technology and the Belarusian State Medical University can be promoted in the sphere of joint training of specialists: obtaining a bachelor's degree in digital medical technologies at the Holon Institute of Technology, and further training at 4-year educational program in the specialty “General Medicine” in English at the Belarusian State Medical University.
Chairman of the Board of Founders of BelInter Media Service LLC Naum Furash also noted that the development of the educational program in the field of IT medicine is very promising area of cooperation. The challenges of our time require introduction of new qualifications, which leads to the emergence of a new generation of doctors.
Vice-Rector for International Relations, Professor Vasili Roudenok emphasized that all the main areas of bilateral cooperation with the Holon Institute of Technology have been already brought in line and the Belarusian State Medical University is ready to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation.
Professor Yakubov thanked the Belarusian State Medical University for the willingness to develop cooperation in such a promising area as IT medicine.
The inspiring conclusion of the meeting was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of academic cooperation between the Belarusian State Medical University and the Holon Institute of Technology.
Author and translation: Varvara Boika, Head of the Department of International Relations;
Photo by Dmitry Zelenkovsky