Academics, staff from Birzeit and abroad explore connections during international week 

Gathering more than 20  academic and staff members from different partner universities, Birzeit University’s External Academic Relations successfully held its third annual International Staff Week on May 23–27, 2022.  

The event, held at Birzeit University, included seminars, workshops and presentations by Birzeit University and visiting staff and academics.  

Dr. Amir Khalil, director of the External Academic Relations Office, detailed the purpose of holding International Staff Week: “We are seeking to make the most of the possibilities available fto Palestinians to form global partnerships and foster relations with international institutions.” 

During the five days, the program featured a networking event, a lecture series, discussions and interactive assemblies and activities that promote internationalization and international partnerships.  

Participating universities included Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), University of Granada (Spain), University of Évora (Portugal), University of Malta (Malta),Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), Philipps-University Marburg (Germany), University of Messina (Italy), University of Johannesburg (South Africy), and ), the University of São Paulo (Brazil). 

Dr. Talal Shahwan, Birzeit University’s vice president of Academic Affairs, welcomed participants on the first day, emphasizing the university’s commitment to advance global learning and to promote comprehensive internationalization through the infusion of multicultural and comparative perspectives in academia.  

On the second and third days, participants were introduced to mobility- and capacity-building projects implemented at Birzeit University through the Erasmus+ partnership. Policies and procedures for conducting joint research projects via international programs were also explained.  

Dr. Rana Khatib, the university’s Vice President for Planning and Development highlighted the university’s upcoming strategy for the years 2022-2027, which focuses on quality education, academic freedom, diversity and openness.  

Dr. Abdelkarim Daraghmeh, the director of the National Erasmus+ Office, gave an overview to the participants about the implementation of Erasmus+ projects in Palestine. 

The delegation was introduced to the university’s Palestine and Arab Studies Program, which focuses on teaching Arabic to non-native speakers, and to the Right to Education Campaign that aims to document and archive the Israeli occupation’s violations against the university’s students, faculty and staff. 

Birzeit University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit presented a session on the unit’s role in fostering and facilitating entrepreneurship among innovative students, faculty and staff, helping to bolster the university’s creative environment. 

On the last day, the participants met with students, where the later were introduced to partner universities exchange opportunities and exchange programs 

The second International Staff Week was organized in April 2020 and hosted university academics from Middlesex University, UK; Pegaso Telematic University, Italy; the University of Bergen, Norway; the University of Eastern Finland; the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; and Philipps-University Marburg and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.