University bolsters Italian connections with consul general visit

Giuseppe Fedele, the Italian consul general in Jerusalem, discussed academic cooperation and exchange, and the challenges of distance learning, in a meeting with Birzeit University President Dr. Abdullatif Abuhijleh on campus on Monday, June 7, 2021. 

In the meeting, attended by External Academic Relations Officer Dr. Amir Khalil and Chair of the Department of Languages and Translation Dr. Adnan Abuayyash, Abuhijleh gave a brief overview of the university’s history and stature as the foremost Palestinian academic institution. 

Birzeit University, Abuhijleh added, began as a small school for girls in Birzeit in 1924 and, over the years, grew into an academic powerhouse that offers more than 110 academic programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in various disciplines and fields. 

Discussing the challenges of COVID-19, Abuhijleh emphasized the leading role of the university’s institutes and centers in supporting the Palestinian and Arab communities weather the worst of the pandemic. He highlighted the groundbreaking applied research carried out by the university’s academics and researchers to identify areas most impacted by the pandemic and offer solutions to ameliorate the situation. 

Abuhijleh also stressed the importance of establishing connections and deepening channels of communication between Birzeit University and regional and international institutions, adding that the university has a special relationship with many universities and higher education institutions in Italy, where students, academics, and staff members exchange knowledge and expertise. 

Fedele praised the cooperation between Birzeit University and Italian institutions, noting that the Italian government is working with universities and colleges to support education in Palestine. The Italian language course at the university, taught by Roberto Cirelli, is the result of such successful cooperation, he added, noting future plans to expand cooperation with Palestinian educational institutions on more than one level. 

Fedele was presented with an honorary plaque by Abuhijleh, and ended his visit with a tour of the university’s campus.