BRIEFOCUS


On-line catalog first for Israel

The University's catalog of courses is now available (in Hebrew) to anyone with access to the Internet. This is the first time that an Israeli university has made its catalog available to all students electronically.
Being on-line allows the catalog to be updated continually, so that all information about courses, instructors, prerequisites, hour s, etc., is current and valid at all times.
One can surf the Web to reach the University for this information; or for those with a direct connection to the University's home page (e.g., computers in the University Library), just click on ÒAdmissions and Student Services and browse under ÒCourse List.


First (Fungi) Gene Bank Here

The culture collection of the fungi and cryptogamic plants at the University's Institute of Evolution is the first such gene bank in Israel. Their cultivation under controlled conditions has enabled a wide variety of biological studies of these organisms.
The collection covers all groups of mushrooms, and includes the world's largest number of s pecies of one particular genus.
The collection serves to preserve the genopool of edible and commercial mushrooms, preserve strains with interesting attributes, maintain species used for biotests, permit comparative taxonomic and molecular genetics studies. A collection of medical mushrooms has been started. This gene bank is supervised by Dr. S. P. Wasser, whose work in the area was described in the Spring 1996 issue of Focus.


Foreign Students Abound

This summer saw the participation on campus of hundreds of students from various countries around the world in special programs. Here is a round-up: Some 30 teachers and administrators from the Alliance network of schools in France, Morocco, and Spain underwent an intensive week-long program devoted to Topics in Judaism and Their Instruction.
This year, 30 mid-level officials from developing countries completed the month-long course on ÒDeveloping Tourism in Developing States. Participants countries represented by consular officials at the concluding ceremony: Latvia, Philippines, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Burma, Poland, Ethiopia, Kenya. In the summer ulpan sponsored by the Overseas Stu dents Program, Hebrew may have been the only common denominator.
The record 140 participants who intensively studied the language came this year from the United States, Canada, Argentina, Guatemala, South Africa, England, France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Greece, Italy, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and South Korea. These Diplomas - A World First The six graduates who received diplomas in Psychology from the University's External Studies Unit this past summer were making history, perhaps world history.
The Autumn 1993 issue of Focus reported on a group of residents of Kfar Tikva, a residential community for those suffering from slight to moderate mental and brain impairments, who were enr olled in a special academic program at the University. The University did not undertake the program lightly, and did so only after a great deal of persuasion on the part of the director of Kfar Tikva, Arye Fincovitz, who was convinced that people with light mental handicaps but otherwise normal characteristics could learn on a higher education lev el if given the chance. The results have proved themselves, and him; now other Israeli universities have taken an interest in the course of study offered to this handicapped group. In addition to psychology, they studied computers, art, Israeli geography, and political science. The special courses now attract some 50 residents of Kfar Tikva (which translates as Hope Village) and 30 other handicapped individuals from Haifa and its suburbs.

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