50 scholarships to students from Jerusalem and the Jordan valley
Birzeit University president Abdullatif Abuhijleh announced on July 14, 2020, that the university offers 50 scholarships for students who live in the Jerusalem areas and the Jordan Valley and thus are particularly exposed to the ongoing Israeli violations of basic human rights, especially with the latest plans to annex the Jordan Valley.
Abuhijleh assured that the university firmly believes that financial considerations should not become barriers to obtaining a quality education. Birzeit University, Abuhijleh continued, is a national institution that is devoted to providing a high-quality education, encouraging innovation and creativity, and supporting national awareness and active citizenship, all of which will develop the diverse and educated leaders of tomorrow’s society and world.
Birzeit University’s story encompasses challenges and successes, added Abuhijleh, and despite the hurdles, the university continued to grow and prosper. To give an example, Abuhijleh pointed to the university’s utmost efforts to support e-learning and remote teaching that were contingent also on the openness to make new investments into infrastructure and online servers.
Abuhijleh recalled Birzeit University’s experience during the First Intifada when the university ensured the continuation of its academic mission even though Israeli forces closed higher education institutions. Birzeit University launched its web portal Ritaj, the online platform that, to this day, facilitates communication between faculty members and their students.
“The university has never lost its vision or its raison d’ être,” Abuhijleh assured. “With concerted efforts, Birzeit University has been able to manage and cope with all difficult conditions, providing quality education and services locally and according to international standards,” Abuhijleh concluded.
In September 2019, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that, if re-elected, he would annex the occupied West Bank’s Jordan Valley, forcibly claiming the territory as part of Israel. He later announced that he will begin to annex a third of the lands at the beginning of July 2020, but the implementation has been postponed so far.