Birzeit University takes the lead in "British Council Going Global" Conference

Birzeit University reached another milestone by participating in the British Council’s annual “Going Global” Conference held recently at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London. A team of three professors jointly collaborated and represented the university in an interdisciplinary cooperation among Birzeit's academic units to explore the theme of the conference "Global cities: connecting talent, driving change."

Going Global is a conference for leaders in international education to debate the future of further and higher education.

Along with 1200 leaders from around 80 countries, the Chairperson of the Architectural Engineering Department Yasid Elrifai, the Director of the Palestine and Arabic Studies Program (PAS) Tina Jaber Rafdi, and the lecturer at the Architecture Engineering Department Dima Yaser, presented the university in a speaking panel titled “Healthy cities – universities at the heart of urban development”, and a poster session under the theme “Blurring Boundaries: The Case of Birzeit University”.

Questioning the possibility of breaking the boundaries of the stereotypical platform of cities under occupation, the professors talked about Birzeit University’s strategy on internationalization that aims to overcome these boundaries by preparing students to live and work in a changing world.  Rafidi- Jaber, Elrifai and Yaser shared Birzeit University experience and challenges in promoting and supporting its students' achievements and accomplishments locally and internationally within the context of colonization, and the role of tertiary education in the urbanized world considering the creative thinking and multi-disciplinary approach needed to ensure the wellbeing as part of the design process of a city.

Focusing on the Palestinian context under occupation, the three professors offered solutions for challenging the boundaries that are put by the occupation and hinder Palestinians access to the world, including in academic and research based participation.

During the poster session, the concept of global platforms and connectors that creates a multidimensional social, cultural, and global opportunities as the foundation of global education. They emphasized that collaborative solutions that are embedded in the pedagogy of architectures can provide a gateway to unearth talents among International and Palestinian youth.

This participation comes on the heels of the university's efforts in internationalization, and contribution in the global efforts to increase the role of universities in socio-economic development.

This participation is part of the continuing partnership between Birzeit University and the British Council.