Israel’s University of Haifa has signed an academic cooperation agreement with the UAE’s Zayed University which will emphasize environmental issues and spearhead joint research between faculty and students.
The MOU will foster shared information and joint research projects across a variety of disciplines which include, but are not limited to marine sciences, education, and natural resource management, the University of Haifa said in a statement. Additionally, the universities will conduct student and faculty exchange programs for seminars, conferences, and workshops.
In a virtual ceremony that took place on Wednesday, UAE’s Minister of Culture and Youth, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi and University of Haifa President Prof. Ron Robin signed the deal. Also present was Israel’s Ambassador to the UAE Amir Hayek, and the UAE’s Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Mahmoud Al Khaja.
“In the wake of many common challenges facing humanity as we grapple with the climate crisis, this kind of academic cooperation is a way to preserve what all of us call home — the planet,” President Robin said during the signing.
Minister Al Kaabi agreed, saying that this partnership “will create cross-border opportunities for students, faculty and the region as a whole. Together, we can lead innovation with regards to food and water security, marine sciences and environmental sustainability.”
University of Haifa Vice President of International Affairs and Sustainability, Baruch Marzen, and Director of Government, Community and External Relations, Hila Elroy were also present at the signing. Zayed University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Prof. Clayton MacKenzie and the Assistant Provost for Research, Prof. Michael Allen were on hand to represent the Emirati side.
Prof. Robin, who as vice provost at New York University was responsible for establishing its international campus in Abu Dhabi in 2010, kicked off his remarks with greetings in Arabic and then stated that the agreement is a significant one for him on both a professional and personal level. He also congratulated Zayed University on its 50th anniversary and added that University of Haifa is also set to celebrate 50 years in 2022.