CORONAVIRUS STUDENT ASSISTANCE FUND PAGE 5 IMPACT REPORT struggling as a result of the crisis are “left behind and are now being replaced” by those receiving financial assistance from their parents. BGU’s student population is diverse, with many students from poor peripheral communities who have no one to turn to for financial support. BGU is one of Israel’s leading social mobility engines, and it is critical that our students weather the coronavirus storm, remain on an academic path toward increased economic opportunities and professional growth, and don’t fall victim to such a social epidemic on top of the COVID-19 pandemic. The wonderful response to the SOS appeal has ensured that the reported findings do not reflect the reality at Ben-Gurion University today. Although the year kicked off with lectures delivered by Zoom, classes are full, and there have been some specific significant increases in registration, as it appears that the coronavirus is shaping our students’ degree choices . At BGU, emergency medicine has seen a 60% increase in registration in its undergraduate program and a 25% increase in its graduate program, and nursing registration is up 50%! We are proud of the spirit of partnership and generosity that has made this possible. In the years to come, as our students look back on their university days, they will remember the hardship of the coronavirus era, the way it affected their career path, and the way the BGU community pulled together, with Prof. Chamovitz at the helm, supporting them, rooting for them, and doing whatever it took to ensure that they were not left behind.