The Head of the German Representative Office visits BZU

On 13 April 2011, the Head of the German Representative Office, Dr. Goetz Lingenthal, visited BZU - the first official visit by the major German organizations in Palestine. Dr. Lingenthal  came to office in Ramallah during the same time in which BZU President, Dr. Khalil Hindi, became President of BZU.

The aim of the meeting is to improve and deepen the relations between BZU and Germany through a roundtable discussion between leading representatives of  BZU and the major German organizations in Palestine.

This event concured with a presentation by Dr. Helga BAUMGARTEN on DAAD scholarships offered to Palestinian students and faculty members, which took place on 12 April 2011.

It is worth mentioning that DAAD has been financing a professorship in the Social Sciences at BZU since February 1993 (this professorship is sponsored by Dr. Helga BAUMGARTEN), and BZU is regularly winning DAAD scholarships for many of  its students and faculty members. 

The organizations participating in the Roundtable Discussion are: Goethe Institute (German Cultural Center),  German House (major German Development Organizations i.e. GIZ, KfW, former DED), and the German Political Foundations of the different German political parties.

The meeting was facilitated by Dr. Helga BAUMGARTEN in her capacity as Head of the DAAD Information Center in East Jerusalem and DAAD Professorship at  BZU.

The meeting was attended by BZU President, Dr.. Khalil Hindi, Vice-Presidents, Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. Henry Giacaman. Director of External Relations, Dr. Mirvat Bulbul, while the German delegation consisted of: the German Representative to the Palestinian Authority, Dr. Goetz Lingenthal, Cultural Officer, Dr. Hannah Boie, Director of the Goethe Institute, Dr. Hisham Sharabati from the German Development Bank (KfW), Director Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Mr. Felix Dane, Mr. Volker Buenning from GIZ (formerly GTZ), and others.

Dr. Khalil Hindi opened the meeting with a welcome address, asking the attendees to introduce themselves, then he applauded  the role of Germany in the Quartet, noting that the future of Palestine is based on education, due to the scarcity of natural resources in Palestine.

He added: BZU is facing serious challenges, including the academic challenge, as he moved  to talk about areas of cooperation, especially in the modernization of laboratories of the faculties of engineering and science, in addition to the challenge of greening the campus.

Later, Dr. Helga BAUMGARTEN addressed  the student scholarships provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) on the levels of master's and doctoral degrees.

The German Representative expressed the vital importance of these areas, adding that teaching the German language at the University is one their concerns, in addition to academic freedom, and then pointed to the need to approach the academic community (of Palestinian origin) in Germany and coordinate with them.

Mr. Hisham Sharabati from KfW suggested the submitting  a proposal for funding to include the needs of the university and through the Ministry of Planning, while the director (GIZ) has stressed the need to strengthen relations between BZU and the Palestinian private sector. The Director of Konrad Adenauer Foundation expressed full cooperation and understanding to the needs of the university

 The meeting was concluded with positive and fruitful results and with the  determination of all parties for  further cooperation.