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assistance to students during the Corona crisis

April 6, 2020

Greetings to all of our students!

 We hope that this finds you well and that you are in good health during these challenging times.

 It is clear to all of us that this period is causing many problems - financial, academic, emotional, and other.

 The Dean of Students’ staff is working very intensively (but with a limited number of personnel) in order to address all of the many difficulties arising during this period.

 We want to update you about the measures that the University (and particularly The Dean of Students) has taken (and will take) to make things easier.

 On the teaching front:

 The University moved quickly to distance teaching, and it is succeeding in facing up to this challenge. To this end, you were sent guides on how to use ZOOM etc.

 We are trying with all of our might to make sure that the lectures will be recorded, in order to facilitate those who find it difficult to follow the lecture schedule live - particularly the parents among us.

The University purchased special Word and PDF software (Alma Reader) available for use by all of our students.

 The University has also purchased subtitling software for lectures. This aid is intended for the hearing impaired, but other students participating in courses attended by hearing-impaired students can also benefit from this software. Information about the software will be released soon.

 

About one hundred students received financial assistance to purchase technological equipment in order to enable them to take part in distance learning.

On the financial front:

The Hebrew University was the first to allow students who are struggling financially to spread out their tuitions payments in many installments, and it was the first to remove blocks from students who are late in making payments.  The university will not charge interest fees for late payments.

Students struggling to pay tuition can choose to reduce payment number 7 (payable on 15/4). If payment is made by direct debit, please contact the Tuition Unit through the Student Personal Information page so that the amount charged will be changed on 15/4. Please contact the Tuition Unit in this regard no later than 4/4/20.

Students whose tuition debt balance will be over 1000 NIS after 15/4, will be able to divide the balance into two equal installments as follows:  Half of the outstanding balance must be paid by 15/5 and the remaining outstanding balance must be paid by 15/6.

The University has launched a fundraising campaign for a student emergency fund that will award financial grants to students who are in severe financial hardship due to the Coronavirus crisis.  We will be updating you about this soon.

To the best of our knowledge, we were also the first university to offer an across-the-board  discount to all of our dormitory residents (a 15% discount off of the May rent for regular tenants and a 5% discount off of the May rent for families). Moreover, we are refunding the rent to those who were in self-isolation outside the dorm (and who reported it to the University's website in real time: https://hr.huji.ac.il/homeisolation)

In addition, the University offers students the option to take a loan from a commercial bank, while the university finances the interest on that loan

The Relief Unit within the Dean of Students office continues to grant scholarships to needy students.

 Additionally:

Psychological Services is running at full capacity and online. In addition, we launched a "hot line" that allows students in distress to contact Psychological Services, and a psychologist will get back to them by phone on the same day. For information on this hotline, please see:

https://sf_prod_bg.formtitan.com/ft3d01ab741561005663076_copy#/

For particularly severe cases, we are funding the psychological service treatment (fully or partially).

 The Equal Opportunities Unit in the Dean of Students office is conducting the Student Support Systems online for students experiencing difficulty in their studies, with an emphasis on helping to prevent dropouts. See the links to assistance offered to students from the Arab sector and to the other students, through counseling and mentoring:

For the Arab community

For the general community

 

The Learning Disabilities Unit is acting with determination but with limited staff to continue to support 1500 students who use its services during normal times. In addition to this effort, the Accessibility Unit assists 500 students .These units continue to provide support, including the tutoring system, online.

 The Center for the Blind is operating in a limited capacity in order to address the needs of students with visual impairments.

The Social Involvement Unit continues to operate (in a limited capacity) in order to enable students to continue to engage in social involvement activities for scholarships or for 2 credits.

We are also conducting conversations via ZOOM with targeted groups that require special attention (for example, immigrants, Ultra-orthodox students and Arabs).

We recognize the distress that you are experiencing, and we are working in cooperation with the Student Union to examine the adoption of additional measures to alleviate your situation. We will keep you updated with respect to all of these measures soon.

We want to support and encourage you during this difficult time. Maybe this will help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vDJfnHW8p8

Take care of yourselves and of your health. We are at your disposal and here for you.

If you are need of help, please feel free to reach out to me via email: dstudents@savion.huji.ac.il

Guy Harpaz, Dean of Students