NYU will be shuttering its Tel Aviv campus this fall, spokesperson John Beckman says. The move comes after weeks of prolonged violence in Gaza and multiple failed cease-fires between Hamas and Israeli Defense Forces.
In an August 6 email to NYU Local, Beckman said the move to close the campus was decided out of concern for student safety, as well as the possibility that events in Israel would disrupt NYU Tel Aviv’s academic program.
“As to NYU Tel Aviv,” Beckman said, “We have been closely following events there. When we make evaluations in circumstances like these whether to suspend classes for a period or to evacuate students, we tend to err on the side of caution first and foremost with respect to the health and safety of our students but also with respect to whether we think the full academic program we intend for our students may be disrupted. In this case, it was not an easy decision to make, but earlier this week we informed the students signed up for NYU Tel Aviv that were suspending the program for the fall — some had already been in touch with us about their concerns about going — and anticipate resuming the program in January. In part we made the decision now so that there would be enough time to enable us to work with the students to finalize alternative arrangements for their fall studies, which we are doing now.”
NYU has previously closed its Tel Aviv campus out of concern for student security. In November 2012, the university evacuated its 11 students mid-semester after violence erupted in Gaza. The students had the choice of transferring to NYU’s campuses in London, Prague, Florence, or New York. It is still unclear where students who planned to study in Tel Aviv this fall will be placed.
NYU announced yesterday that it would also close its Accra, Ghana campus for the fall in response to the Ebola virus spreading in West Africa.