In 2003 a research team from the Center for Continuing Education at Birzeit University  was working on a project to support economic empowerment for youth. 

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The team recognized that unless the knowledge, skills and attitudes of students leaving the basic educational system is significantly improved, little can be done to address the severe employability and social problems facing youth and the society.

The research team’s investigation identified that “the traditional approaches to educational reform being adopted using every existing model in the book are clearly failing to make an impact. It is clear that an approach that is entirely different – something outside the box designed specifically for the local context must be created”.

As an innovation hub within Birzeit University, one of the oldest higher academic institutions in the region, CCE decided to give this national problem a high priority.  A research unit was established at the Center called The Unit for Learning Innovation (ULI).  The ULI was mandated to develop creative “home grown” educational models and solutions specific to the local context.