Technion Grants Hundreds of Scholarships to Students in Need
Hundreds of students recently received scholarships totaling NIS 1.7 million ($502,000 U.S.) through Technion’s Dean of Students Office. Valued at thousands of shekels each, the scholarships were granted with the support of Technion, the Technion Alumni Association, Technion Friends Societies in Israel and around the world, and external entities that included the Council for Higher Education’s Planning and Budgetary Committee and the Moshe Meir Horowitz z”l Foundation managed by KKL-JNF. The special emergency assistance scholarships will help students who are struggling with the challenges and ensuing financial hardships of the COVID-19 era.
“My family and I are experiencing very tough times, and this scholarship will help me a lot this year and will keep me on track. One day I hope to be in your shoes – Technion alumni who are now donating scholarships to students – helping people in the position I am in today,” said N., a 22-year-old student who is starting her 4th year in the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, when she received the news that Technion approved her request for a “coronavirus scholarship.” I’m very happy to be studying at Technion, a university that always supports its students in every way and in every situation.”
In addition to the scholarships, Technion also substantially expanded the scope of its student support by establishing an emergency loan fund. Every student can receive up to NIS 20,000 ($5,917 US), with no questions asked and regardless of socioeconomic status, to be repaid interest-free and without linkage after the completion of their studies, and even then in a gradual manner. To date, the fund has helped hundreds of students with loans totaling more than NIS 2.5 million ($740,000 US).
Technion also enabled students to defer tuition payments for the Spring semester. and avoided fining those who terminated their dormitory rental contract prematurely because of COVID-19-related disruptions.
“We are intent on guaranteeing that the coronavirus crisis will not disrupt the continuity of any student’s studies at Technion,” said Technion President Professor Uri Sivan. “During this academic year as well, we will continue to support students through scholarships, loans, and other channels thanks to the help of Technion’s friends in Israel and around the world, and thanks to an additional emergency budget from the Council of Higher Education’s Planning and Budgetary Committee. The support our students are receiving at this time from our friends around the world imbues new meaning to the phrase “the Technion family.’”
According to Technion’s Dean of Students Professor Ayelet Fishman, “the hardships triggered by the pandemic generated an exceptionally large number of requests for financial aid and for dormitory space. We granted the scholarships according to clearly defined and consistent criteria. Now we are trying to raise funds to help students who are slightly below the acceptance threshold.”
Demand for dorms also exceeds the supply, and here too, Technion is actively seeking the best possible solutions. In recent years, Technion has invested enormous resources in order to increase the dormitory space available to students, and today it is the leading university in Israel as regards students living on campus.
Among the donors to the current student aid campaign, there is one married couple that stands out: Tal Allon, Director of the Hod HaCarmel School for Excellence in Science, and his wife Karin Rosenthal decided to donate the “Coronavirus grants” they received from the government to Technion’s students.
Sigal First, Chair of the Technion Alumni Association, explained: “Tal Allon approached us with a request to donate his and his wife’s government grants in order to fund student scholarships. They inspired the Technion Alumni Association to launch a campaign to encourage people to donate their government coronavirus grants. We have already succeeded in raising tens of thousands of shekels donated by different generations of Technion graduates on behalf of current students. The Alumni Association constantly strives to strengthen the connection between Technion graduates and students, and the term ‘Technion family’ is always on our minds. The family’s strength is measured in days of hardship and we invite all alumni to contribute to this initiative.”
The Technion Friends Society in Israel is also part of this effort. “We would like to thank Technion’s friends in Israel who are donating to Technion’s emergency fund for students in need,” said Professor Peretz Lavie, Chair of the Technion Friends Society in Israel. “The generosity of our friends during these difficult times of economic uncertainty is a great source of pride and appreciation. Without their help, many students would have had to abandon their studies.”