University presidents meet to address higher education issues, needs

Birzeit University hosted a meeting of Palestinian university presidents on February 5, 2020. Held under the tutelage of Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Mahmoud Abu Mouis, the meeting brought together the presidents of universities from the West Bank, with those from Gazan universities participating via video conference.

The council agreed to send a letter of protest to United Nations Secretary António Guterres, emphasizing that the Deal of the Century proposed by Donald Trump’s administration violates international law and further strips Palestinians of their basic rights.

Speaking about Birzeit University’s role for the Palestinian nation and in academia, Birzeit University President Abdullatif Abuhijleh highlighted how the university, along with all Palestinian universities, has built generations of young qualified leaders who have been enabled to contribute to the development of their nation and its institutions.

Abu Mouis encouraged the universities to deepen their cooperation and forge partnerships to come up with new joint academic- and research projects that tackle Palestinian national priorities. He affirmed the ministry’s readiness to facilitate such partnerships, develop the learning and teaching processes, and build students’ professional competencies so Palestinian society may progress and flourish.

The council explored various issues related to governmental support of scientific research, the scholarships offered by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the role of the student loan fund, new accreditation and academic recognition processes, and the requirements for academic promotion. A number of projects that included “Synchrotron―Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East” were discussed as well.