Bar-Ilan University | President’s Report 2022

5 in our student body—like the parallel growth in our faculty, which grew by 22 new researchers this past year—is a means to extend and deepen our impact here in Israel, and ultimately around the world. Let me explain. For starters, larger enrollment garners more funding for research in areas of national priority. And we are involved in many: This year alone, Bar-Ilan launched two ambitious “mega-projects,” The Russell Berrie Galilee Diabetes SPHERE and the Center for Energy and Sustainability. These initiatives, which harness the strengths of multiple disciplines and feature collaborations with government and industry, will prove vital to the health of Israel’s environment, economy, and society. Our Alexander Kofkin Faculty of Engineering also saw notable expansion, in particular the addition of a new degree program and several new study tracks. One such track, in the field of computer hardware and chip design, is essential to Israel’s defense strategy. As war moves to the cyber sphere, Israel will increasingly need to trust the electronics systems that underlie our security controls, military networks, and power grids. This will require that more design and fabrication take place here at home, and Bar-Ilan has a key part to play in preparing the talent and providing the skills. Fortunately, it will also now have the space: Beyond more enrollment and research activity, Bar-Ilan is also gaining new facilities. For example, this year saw the opening of our new student dorms and the continued construction of both a classroom building at the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine and the newAlexander Grass Computer Science Building. And last, as a university committed to ensuring Jewish literacy, Bar-Ilan saw essential growth in our Faculty of Jewish Studies. Already the largest faculty of its kind in the world, it now includes new degree programs in a diverse range of fields, demonstrating that engagement with Jewish texts, culture, and history can respond dynamically to the evolving needs of both amodern Jewish state and the Jewish people everywhere. No doubt, we have become a faster, higher, and stronger institution this year. Yet there is still another dimension to this tagline that holds true in our case: Like an athlete forever improving and pushing back against physical boundaries, BarIlan is ensuring that its future growth and development will be unhindered by the limits of the traditional model of higher education. To be sure, the work of transitioning to a digital university, of breaking down academic barriers and moving toward inter-disciplinarity, and of orienting research and education toward tomorrow’s challenges—all these objectives make for a marathon, not a sprint. But thanks to all of our hard work, we are well on our way to our goal of becoming the university that tomorrow needs. * According to Israel's Council for Higher Education, 2020/2021. Prof. Arie Zaban President of Bar-Ilan University