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Historic moment: HIT awards B.Sc. degree to first graduating class from Uzbekistan

Nine students graduate from a unique B.Sc. degree completion program in Computer Science.


הסטודנטים מאוזבקיסטן, פרופ' פרידור, פרופ' יעקובוב

The students from Uzbekistan, Prof. Adir Pridor, Prof. Eduard Yakubov

Photo: Tal Kirschenbaum

In a festive ceremony that took place on Thursday, HIT awarded the Bachelor of Science Degree upon 9 students from the National University of Uzbekistan. This is the first time ever that an Israeli academic institution awards a degree to students from a Muslim country. "You can study computer science anywhere, but here, at HIT, there is the possibility to develop beyond, through what we call the 'handshake' between science and technology," said Prof. Adir Pridor, Chairman of the Executive Committee, in his opening remarks. "This is an exciting and historic moment and I'm proud that our Institute is taking part in it," says Prof. Eduard Yakubov, President of HIT. "I am both a son of Uzbekistan and a son of Israel."  Prof. Yakubov initiated an extensive partnership with Central Asian countries that includes visits throughout the year from both sides.

The ceremony took place physically on HIT campus, in the presence of Senior HIT academic staff, Mrs. Michal Hershkovich, Director of the Euro-Asia and Caucasus Department at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ahmad Jabarin from the Minisrty of Regional Cooperation and the students who participated in the program - but it was also broadcast by Zoom to their families in Uzbekistan. The event was attended by HIT’s senior faculty, as well as distinguished diplomatic representatives, some of whom were physically present for the ceremony, and others delivered their speech via Zoom. The ceremony included artistic performances. 

The State of Israel has maintained full diplomatic relations with Uzbekistan since 1992, when Israel recognized the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In the same year, the Israeli embassy was also opened in Tashkent and the two countries embarked have shared a warm and active relationship. Uzbekistan maintains a special relationship with the Jewish people for generations, firstly by being one of the countries that allowed Jews to lead their lives freely and also one of the first safe-havens for Jews during World War II. It is therefore not surprising that Israel is the second country in the world to recognize Uzbekistan as an independent country following the fall of the Iron Curtain in the Soviet Union.

Above and beyond the international students who join us from Euro-Asia, HIT has a number of international joint programs, including student exchange programs from the faculties of engineering and design. Students hail from around the world.

"This is unbelievable! This is a dream come true for us at HIT. We dreamed that one day Central Asian students would come to study with us and here it is – the day has arrived," said Prof. Shaul Bar Lev, Rector of HIT.

"This is a great example of the younger generation in Uzbekistan taking part in international programs with Israel”, said Michal Hershkovich, Director of the Euro-Asia and Caucasus Department at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"This is an amazing gift in honor of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Uzbekistan. I am happy to see the students in Israel and I would love to see more", added Zehavit Ben Hillel, Israeli Ambassador to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

"You are the lucky students who had the opportunity to learn and be educated by excellent lecturers from two different countries. It is not only about the theoretical studies, but also about the practical studies that will catapult your career to high places", stated Prof. Raima Shirinova, Vice Rector of the National University of Uzbekistan.

"I am so happy to stand here today, especially after a difficult time we went through with the Corona epidemic and distance learning. I hope to see you all in our Master's programs as well”, said Prof. Anatoly Golberg, Head of the International Program inthe Faculty of Sciences.

Gulbaev Khomoyun, one of the graduates representing his fellow students, summed it up: “We are proud to be here and celebrate our hard work. The collaboration with HIT was really welcome, and I say that without you, we would not be standing here today. I am sure, this is not the last time". 


Photo: Tal Kirschenbaum