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07.10.2023 | כב תשרי התשפד

Academic Armor at Bar-Ilan - 2023-2024

The academic year at Bar-Ilan University will begin in two phases: The first on December 31st, and the second upon the release of the reserve soldiers. The university offers an Informative Webinar with all the information about the new academic year.


Upon the start of the academic year 2023-2024, the Bar-Ilan University management approved a special plan that will address both the needs of Israel and its economy, and those of students serving in the reserve forces. As part of the plan, every student serving in the reserves will receive the university’s 'Academic Armor', which includes academic and administrative benefits, emotional support, and an advisor from the university.

According to the program, the academic year at Bar-Ilan University will begin in two phases: The first on December 31st and the second upon the release of reserve soldiers. In the second phase, only released reserves soldiers will arrive on campus for an 'academic prep' week between January 21st and January 26th. During this week, the university, and especially its academic staff, will focus their efforts on bringing these students up to speed.

The university's management states that any further delays will not allow for completion of the academic year and will lead to the cancellation of the entire academic year, which would affect the economy and Israel's ability to recover from the crisis. Prof. Arie Zaban, President of Bar-Ilan University, states that the significance of opening the academic year arises from the fact that "Israel's resilience and recovery rely on more than 80,000 doctors, engineers, psychologists, economists, teachers, and all the academics who are trained each year by the higher education system, enabling Israel to be a functioning, strong, creative country which has the ability to face challenges."

The two-phase plan will be added to the benefits currently offered to students in the reserves, such as: Academic recognition points, a Pass grade in two courses which will not affect the grade point average, three exam dates for each course, with the highest grade being the determinant, recorded lectures, intensified exercises, exemptions, and tuition grants of approximately 5,000 NIS per student.

Academic Armor Building Blocks

Recognition of reserve service as an activity entitling academic recognition points: Undergraduate students who served for at least 14 days in the reserve, including 5 consecutive days, will be entitled to exemption from academic recognition points. The more days in reserve, the more recognition points, up to a cap equal to three courses. Second and third-degree students will be exempt from one course starting from the 21st day of reserve duty (see details below).

A "Pass" grade that does not affect the grade point average: Students can choose up to two courses they passed successfully, where the numerical grade will be converted to a "Pass" grade and will not affect their grade point average. This benefit applies to spouses of reserve soldiers with children under 13, to wartime evacuees, and to students serving in the security forces.

3rd test date: An option for a 3rd test date will be offered to students who have served a minimum of 10 reserve days, or a 5-day consecutive service during the examination period or semester, or 21 cumulative days (without 5 consecutive days) during the semester before the exam period. Students may also choose to take the exam twice, and in this case, the final grade will be the higher of the two grades.

Academic Assistance: Students who served in the reserve during the semester will be eligible for assistance in closing academic gaps through designated special lectures and exercises, special guidance meetings with course instructors, review sessions, assistance from top students, and any additional support required by the university’s departments. In addition, lecturers will record all lectures and make efforts to assist with submitting assignments and tasks, as deemed appropriate by the lecturers. Special coordinators in each department will be responsible for the personal care of all reservists.

Grants: Out of appreciation for the efforts of our student reservists, we established a tuition grant system. The scope of the grant will determined by the length of reserves or combat service, socio-economic or evacuee status, and other similar criteria. For example, dorm residents in service and other reserve soldiers, are entitled to a tuition grant for October, November, and December 2023, in addition to the tuition grant.

Advisor: According to the academic department and individual needs, every reservist will have a personal advisor who will oversee the academic, managerial, and emotional support received.