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Main Tel Aviv University Stays Committed to Furthering Internationalization

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TAU delegation participates in NAFSA 2024

From May 28 to 31, Tel Aviv University (TAU) participated in NAFSA 2024, held in New Orleans, the USA. Representing TAU were Sharon Ziv Kafri, Director of International Development; Konstantin Platonov, Director of Asia Engagement; and Roy Robinson, Director of the North American TAU Office. They joined other Israeli universities at the Study in Israel booth, showcasing the institution’s commitment to fostering global partnerships and international collaboration.

Strengthening Global Connections

NAFSA, the world’s largest association dedicated to international education, provided an ideal platform for TAU to engage with current and potential partners. TAU has been a regular participant in NAFSA for many years, and this year’s participation was particularly crucial.

“It was important for TAU to be there to continue the conversation with partners and to build new partnerships. The role of academia now more than ever is to be a bridge between countries,” — Sharon Ziv Kafri, Director of International Development

Ziv Kafri also highlighted the importance of face-to-face interactions during such times: “People really want to know how we are and what is happening at university. Being in the same location allows us to get to know our partners, network, and form new partnerships.”

Engaging with Partners Across the Globe

The TAU delegation met with existing partners from various countries, including Korea, Japan, China, India, Spain, Italy, France, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, and the USA. These meetings were pivotal in discussing the future of these partnerships and exploring ways to elevate them to the next level.

Konstantin Platonov and Sharon Ziv Kafri with representatives from Osnabrueck University in Germany 

Additionally, TAU seized the opportunity to initiate conversations with universities it has not yet partnered with. These initial discussions aimed to identify mutual areas of interest and potential collaboration.

As Konstantin Platonov comments, “We managed to build some very prospective connections and negotiate several new exchange programs with the Republic of Korea and Japan.” 

We are happy that our Asian partners are highly supportive and committed to strengthening relations with Israel.” — Konstantin Platonov, Director of Asia Engagement

Highlight Events and Discussions

NAFSA 2024 featured several events that the TAU delegation took part in. These included, for instance, the Symposium on Leadership: Reinventing Internationalization, which focused on adapting new approaches to internationalization to institutional contexts and beyond, Monash University Lunch, which addressed the current challenges of internationalization, and a Science Po Breakfast, where participants discussed managing large-scale exchange programs and Science Po’s international strategy across its campuses.

“It’s a great way to interact with people who do similar jobs and to build personal connections, which is very important.” — Sharon Ziv Kafri.

One of the important takeaways highlighted the value of building strong ties between an international office and a research authority, as they can propel internationalization efforts.

TAU representatives also attended events with Notre Dame University, Baden-Wurtenberg universities, and the State University of New York (SUNY). These gatherings were invaluable for sharing knowledge and experiences in the field of university internationalization.

Community and Collaboration

In addition to academic and professional engagements, TAU sponsored a Jewish community gathering in collaboration with other Israeli universities. This event fostered a sense of community and shared purpose among the participants, leading to the establishment of new connections. 

Israeli delegation at the Study in Israel booth at NAFSA

Platonov elaborates: “We met a representative of a prestigious Japanese university who joined the gathering because her partner is Jewish. We quickly identified several gravity points and agreed to explore institutional cooperation and student exchange.”

Looking Forward

TAU’s presence at NAFSA 2024 underscored its dedication to global engagement and academic collaboration. As the university navigates current events and challenges, such platforms remain instrumental in sustaining and expanding its international presence. TAU continues to embody the spirit of academic diplomacy, building bridges and forging partnerships that transcend borders.

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