The Ministry of Education announced the founding of a university in Nazareth today. The new university, to be called "Peace University", will be an Israeli campus of Texas A&M University, and most of the funding for it comes from the US. The new institution has already received approval from the Council for Higher Education.
The Texas A&M Peace University is an initiative of Governor of Texas Rick Perry and Israel's Minister of Education Shai Piron, together with Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp and Prof Manuel Trajtenberg, chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education. The signing ceremony took place today at the president's residence in the presence of President Shimon Peres. The initial investment in the university is $70 million.
Although several branches of foreign universities operate in Israel, Texas A&M Peace University is the first branch of a US university to be set up as a fully-fledged university here. Behind the initiative is the idea that a "peace campus" in an area with a mixed population of Arabs and Jews will contribute to the area's development and promote messages of peace and cooperation.
The university campus in Nazareth is scheduled to open in October 2015. The aim is to attract Jews and Arabs (both Muslim and Christian) from Israel and around the world. The institution is intended to be an engine for narrowing social gaps and to provide an international standard of higher education while at the same time fostering co-existence.
Of course students of all communities and religions study at Israel's universities, but the uniqueness of the Peace University will be its particularly attractive location for the Arab population of northern Israel, and so it will probably have a higher representation from that population in the student body.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 23, 2013
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