Birzeit University Assumes Presidency of the Palestinian European Academic Cooperation in Education (PEACE) Programme
On February 21, 2013, Birzeit University took over the rotating presidency of the Palestinian European Academic Cooperation in Education (PEACE) Programme, whose members include 54 European universities and all Palestinian universities.
During a consultative meeting held at BZU, President Khalil Hindi was made the head of the PEACE Programme alongside the president of the Islamic University in Gaza, Kamalin Shaath.
The meeting was attended by former PEACE leader and Hebron University President Radwan Barakat, President of the Palestine Polytechnic University Ibrahim al-Masri, BZU President Hindi and BZU Vice President for Academic Affairs Adnan Yahya. Presidents of the Islamic and Al-Aqsa Universities in Gaza participated in the meeting via video-conferencing.
The meeting complemented the 8th International Conference of the PEACE Programme, held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in December 2012 where participants called for support for research and educational programs at Palestinian universities and to promote cooperation and exchange of experiences between member universities.
Participants emphasized the importance of the PEACE Programme in creating a network of European universities promoting international academic cooperation with Palestinian universities by offering a number of annual scholarships to participating university staff.
Participants also discussed the financial, administrative and legal difficulties faced by the program, nbsp;the mechanism for obtaining a grant through the program, and ways to develop this mechanism.
The initiative for launching an academic cooperation program with Palestinian universities emerged at an International Solidarity Conference held by several European universities in 1991, when most Palestinian universities were closed by Israeli occupation forces.