The Joint PhD, which is open to all disciplines at the two universities, is the first of its kind between German and Israeli institutions of higher learning. Alternate periods of research will take place at Freie Universität Berlin and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Each student will have two supervisors, one in Berlin and one in Jerusalem. At the end of the program, the students will receive a joint degree from both universities.
Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, the president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said: "Today we commemorate the 50thanniversary of diplomatic relations between and Germany and Israel. It is not by chance that the commemorative events begin with the signing of an agreement between our universities; not by chance, because the diplomatic relations between our two nations were preceded by cooperation in science and research. Thus diplomatic relations followed from the life of science, which does not know any border, color or nationality.
Fifty years from now, those who commemorate the centennial of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany will be able to celebrate the fruitful results of dozens of students and scientists, whose studies will have been made possible by today's joint doctoral agreement. The relationship between Freie Universität Berlin and the Hebrew University is not only an academic partnership; it is also a strategic partnership that will bring together hundreds of faculty and students, and lead to many joint projects in the future."
Prof. Peter-André Alt, president of Freie Universität Berlin, added: "The alliance between our universities provides exciting opportunities for faculty and students of both universities in teaching and learning, as well as the joint development of critical research. By signing this agreement on doctoral education today, we continue this path and join forces in promoting young researches and creating a stimulating research environment that combines the outstanding opportunities across all academic fields offered by our two institutions.
Through this new endeavor, Berlin and Jerusalem unite in building a unique framework that will shape a new generation of researchers in our two countries. And, in this sense, the agreement we sign today truly marks nothing less than the beginning of a new era in the relations between our universities, and also in the academic cooperation between Israel and Germany."
Today's agreement, which was signed at Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, adds to the universities' numerous joint research projects in the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, as well as student exchange.
This text was originally published on February 11, 2015, as a press release.