New Academic Year Begins in Israel, 350,000 University Students Return to Campus After One Year

Israeli universities and colleges have started classes for the new academic year from October 10, welcoming back after one year of online study some 350,000 students.

Students had to pursue studies for the entire past academic year due to restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19, Erudera.com reports.

As students return to in-person instruction, they must show a Green Passport issued by the government as a verification of their vaccination status in order to be allowed to access campus.

Those who do not have the Green Pass, the government said they will still be able to continue their studies online. Nevertheless, several universities across the country will limit the number of courses to be offered online in an effort to bring more students back to campuses.

“Learning together on campus strengthens the student social fabric and contributes to individual and social empowerment,” vice-rector of Tel Aviv University Eyal Zisser told Israeli newspaper Haaretz. 

Some universities said they will hold hybrid instruction for students who do not have a green pass and must continue lessons online, such as the University of Haifa. Meanwhile, Ben-Gurion University announced that classes would be held virtually in 10 percent of courses.

Tel Aviv University also said that it would hold some classes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Other universities have pointed out that they will continue to benefit from distance education in terms of innovation and teaching methodologies in the long term.

Israel is no longer providing Green Pass to individuals who have received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine more than six months ago and have not been vaccinated with the third dose.

“Green Pass eligibility criteria have been updated on 3.10.2021. Any Pass issued prior to this date has been made void (even if the validity on it is 31.12.2021) and it cannot be used to enter facilities that must comply with Green Pass requirements. To get a Green Pass with an updated validity, request a new one,” the Israeli government notes.

As per those who are eligible for a Green Pass but could not get it, the government said that they are allowed to present a COVID certificate until October 17, 2021. Whereas, those who received only one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible for a Green Pass.

In August, Israel became the first country in the world which began administering booster shots. A total of 2.8 million people have received third doses since then. So far, there are 1,309,510 Coronavirus Cases in Israel and 1,277,545 recovered people. The country has registered 7,947 deaths.

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