Applications will open next week for a new, groundbreaking fellowship program that will build and invest in the next generation of leaders in Israel-Asia relations.
The Israel-Asia Leaders Fellowship, which is being launched by the Jerusalem-based Israel-Asia Center, is designed to supplement the university study programs of Asian students studying in Israel, providing them with the high-level access, contacts, skill-set and support network necessary to build long-term, strategic partnerships between Israel and Asia in their professional fields once they return to their home countries.
Every year, hundreds of Asian students come and study at universities in Israel – many of them on postgraduate programs.
“The majority of them spend at least a year in Israel. But like most foreign students, they tend to live in a foreign students bubble. On return to their home countries, they then enter high-level positions in their respective fields,” says Israel-Asia Center Founder and Executive Director, Rebecca Zeffert.
As we embark on this ‘Asian Century’, Israel needs to better prepare itself for a future in which its economic, diplomatic and cultural partners will not only lie in the West. At the same time, Israel has much to offer Asia’s established and emerging economies and can provide viable solutions to the growing challenges they face in the fields of agriculture, water technology, clean energy and defense.
“An opportunity is currently being lost on both sides to build long-term strategic partnerships,” Zeffert explains, adding that until now, no one has been investing in these potential leaders of Israel-Asia relations – who are emerging from a range of fields including agritech, computer technology, Middle Eastern studies and business management.
The program, which will begin in October 2011, will comprise seminars, field trips, skills workshops, internships, assignments and ongoing support on return to Asia. During the program, fellows will meet and engage with Israel’s leaders in government & diplomacy, business, science & technology, media and the non-profit world. Seminars and field trips will be run by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute and leading Israeli companies and organizations.
Within the fellowship, there will be a select number of sponsored tracks. Some of these include a Harvey Krueger Fellow in Business, a NDS media technology track, and a sponsored Israel-India relations track for an Indian student studying agritech, hi-tech, cleantech or public health.
The program is open to students from Asia who are enrolled on or planning on being enrolled on a program of higher education in Israel during the 2011/12 academic year. Places are limited on a competitive basis to students who demonstrate the most potential as future leaders in their fields. Applications open on June 1.