ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 285

Promoted Content The Times of Israel - Promoted Content University of Haifa International

UHaifa International’s Global Impact Leaders are shaping a better tomorrow

The University of Haifa’s Impact for Good master’s programs meet the global demand for skilled professionals dedicated to driving change in business, education, health and the environment.

Situated on the crest of Mount Carmel above the Mediterranean Sea, the University of Haifa stands as a beacon of innovation in its commitment to leverage higher education to promote social and environmental change. The first in Israel to align with the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UHaifa has placed sustainable practices and global impact at the heart of its academic mission. Its sustainable mindset in academic research and study programs designed to address global challenges, have resulted in the highest national score in the Times Global Impact Ranking, as one of the top 100 universities in the world.

As part of their sustainable mindset, UHaifa offers four one-year English-taught International Master’s programs specifically designed to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges in 21st century business, education, environment and public health. By integrating academic excellence with real-world skills, the University of Haifa not only educates, but empowers individuals to drive positive change in their relative field.

Impacting early education and development worldwide: MA in Education & Development in Early Childhood

Professor Avi Sagi-Schwartz, Head of the Master’s Program in Education and Development in Early Childhood program. Courtesy.

UHaifa International’s Master’s Program in Education and Development in Early Childhood is part of the University’s Department of Counseling and Human Development. Since its establishment, the program aims to change the worldwide scene of early childhood education and development, with a particular emphasis on developing nations. Its combination of advanced developmental theories with real-world applications provides students with the necessary knowledge and skill set to make a significant impact on education, health, and welfare systems.  “Our students are professionals from US, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa who all share a common factor: to move and shake early education, health and welfare systems, and improve the well-being of children”, says Professor Avi Sagi-Schwartz, Head of the program. “We provide them with professional strategies and tools tailored to the specific needs of young children living in diverse environments, so that they can become game changers in their local countries after they graduate.”

The curriculum focuses on a comprehensive exploration of developmental psychology, psychopathology, and neuroscience, as well as practical skills in assessment and intervention techniques. Students explore important topics, such as early emotional development, cognitive and language development in early childhood, and learn how to design effective educational, health and welfare programs to foster young children’s quality of life. The program also covers cultural and anthropological perspectives on child development, offering a broad understanding that prepares students for global challenges in education, health, welfare, and public policy.

Sagi-Schwartz adds that experiential learning is central to the program, as students participate in field observations and interactive workshops that teach them how to implement educational and developmental interventions directly.

The program is taught exclusively in English and is completed in just one academic year. It also includes a final project where students apply their knowledge to real-world educational, health and welfare challenges and craft innovative solutions that promote child well-being and educational success.

“The projects demand not only application of knowledge and tools, but also creativity and innovation: skills that are crucial for addressing early childhood education and development challenges”, concludes Sagi-Schwartz.

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Steering the complex global health landscape: Master’s in Health Systems Administration and Global Health Leadership (MPH)

Created in alignment with the standards and guidelines of Public Health graduate studies in the U.S, Canada and Europe, UHaifa’s international MPH program prepares students for careers in the complex global health landscape. Combining state of the art theoretical knowledge with leadership and hands-on skills, the program fosters a comprehensive understanding needed to manage global health systems and successfully navigate public health crises.

Dr. Shirra Freeman, co-head of the MPH program. Courtesy.

“Throughout history, countries with strong health systems have always been able to address crises caused by natural disasters, climate change, and wars with resilience”, explains Dr.  Shirra Freeman. Co-Head of the program.  “Take a look at COVID-19 for example. The pandemic reflected how public health leadership and the fair distribution of health services save lives and prevent spillovers into other areas of society”.  With this in mind, the MPH program aims to create a new generation of public health professionals and policy makers who can address public health on multiple levels. “We’re committed to cultivating public health leaders capable of navigating complex global health challenges and systems both professionally and ethically”, says Professor Manfred Green, Head of the program.

The curriculum covers a wide range of essential public health topics, including epidemiology, biostatistics, health systems administration, and global health leadership. Its specialized courses in environmental and occupational health, health economics, and public health ethics, expose students to the factors that influence public health and how to implement effective health policies and programs.

Dr. Manfred Green, Head of UHaifa’s international MPH program. Courtesy.

A distinctive feature of the MPH program is the Applied Practice Experience (APE), during which students gain hands-on experience by working on public health projects in diverse settings. This practical component is vital for understanding the real-world implications of health policy decisions and for applying theoretical knowledge to practical challenges. Additionally, students participate in leadership seminars and workshops in which they interact with public health leaders and innovators, and further enhance their management skills and prepare them for high-impact roles in public health.

The program’s holistic approach ensures that graduates are not only proficient in technical skills but also in leadership and strategic thinking, making them valuable assets in government, non-profits, and the private sector.

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Leading ESG principles across industries: MBA Sustainability

Professor Andrea Ghermandi, head of the MBA in Sustainability at the University of Haifa. Courtesy.

The MBA in Sustainability at the University of Haifa is an innovative program that integrates Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into traditional business practices. “Today ESG rankings have become crucial in the global business arena, and the demand for ESG professionals has never been higher,” says program head Professor Andrea Ghermandi. Sustainability Experts, ESG Analysts and Consultants, Energy & Climate Professionals and Corporate Social Responsibility Managers are examples of new professions that have emerged over the past years, years, career opportunities in this field.  “With these new professions in mind, we built our program for students interested in leading sustainability initiatives across industries, transforming challenges into opportunities for innovation and sustainable growth.”

Students in this program study a range of topics that include sustainable financial accounting, environmental impact assessment, and international environmental law. These courses equip them with the necessary skills to understand and implement ESG principles effectively within corporate strategies. Additionally, the program offers specialized courses in resource and environmental economics, sustainable marketing ethics, and the management of information systems, for a holistic understanding of sustainable business practices in global settings. This comprehensive approach is also supplemented by an applied project, where students collaborate with companies to develop and implement sustainable solutions in real business settings.

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Leveraging AI to protect the Environment: MA Environmental Intelligence

UHaifa’s has recently launched their most innovative impact for good Master’s program specializing in Environmental Intelligence, exclusively designed to navigate the complex intersection of environmental science and technology. Led by Prof. Andrea Ghermandi, who also heads the MBA Sustainability program, this pioneering program stands out as the only one of its kind in Israel offering students professional expertise in this emerging field.

“Environmental intelligence is at the forefront of technological innovation, combining artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics”, explains Prof. Ghermandi. “Our program was designed to incorporate these content worlds in order to help revolutionize how we manage and interact with our environment.” Accordingly, the program’s interdisciplinary approach incorporates environmental science, data science, economics, geography, and resource management, to train students to extract and analyze environmental data from diverse sources. The curriculum includes courses such as ‘AI Applications in Remote Sensing’, ‘Digital Footprints for Environmental Intelligence’, ‘Smart Environmental Systems’, and more.

Practicality and career orientation are key in this program, including a hands-on project in real-world settings and collaborations with external organizations on topics related to computational social science or geospatial data science. “We want our students not only to accumulate knowledge but also become practically skilled in implementing environmental intelligence solutions”, says Ghermandi”. In fact, the growing global demand for skilled professionals in environmental data management and consulting presents versatile career opportunities for graduates of this program in both the business and public sectors.

This one-year English-taught international Master’s program offers a flexible two-day per week schedule with a hybrid-learning mode to cater to international students who cannot be physically present on campus throughout their studies.

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