Accord for a New Program in Mathematics Applied to Economics Signed by Birzeit University and French Universities

An important accord was signed today at a ceremony held at Birzeit University in the Kamal Nasir Hall. The accord concerns a program of Mathematics applied to economics and was signed between Birzeit University, a consortium of French Universities and the French Consulate in Jerusalem.

The field of mathematics applied to economics is a modern discipline which developed because of the increasingly specialized mathematical techniques required in areas such as economics, business, and management. The accord marks the culmination of work between a consortium of French Universities - Paris 1, Paris 7, Paris 9(Dauphine) and Evry - and Birzeit University. Several French Scholars have spent 2-5 week teaching periods at Birzeit University helping to develop the program, and it is planned that the program will include the exchange of Professors and incentives for students to complete their graduate studies at a French university. The program was initiated 3 years ago through discussions between academic staff from Birzeit University and French Universities. It is the first time that such a program has been introduced in the Arab world.

Speaking at today's opening ceremony, Birzeit University President, Hanna Nasir, said "The program falls within Birzeit's commitment to keep up with global trends in academia and research. We also believe that this project - with its innovative ideas - could be a model for cooperation between Birzeit and the international community." Dr. Nasir also paid tribute to the French Consulate for their financial and moral support of the project.

The ceremony was also addressed by Dr. Gabi Baramki, representing the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education, Mme Melika Berak, Cultural Attache responsible for cooperation with the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem, Dr, Abdel Latif Abu Hijleh, of Birzeit University, and Professor Thiery Laurent, representative of the French consortium of Universities.

The ceremony also saw a shield presented to the French Consortium of universities in the name of Dr. Bariah Bloch, a French woman of Lebanese descent who for many years was active in support of the Palestinian cause and recently passed away. Professor Ivar Ekeland, Professor of Mathematics at Dauphine University, received the shield on behalf of the consortium.