Birzeit University celebrates 2018 summer commencement

President of Birzeit University Dr. Abdullatif Abuhijleh expressed hopes for the future of the graduates in his address during Birzeit University’s 2018 summer commencement ceremony, held on August 30, 2018, in the Naseeb Azeez Shaheen Auditorium.

The university conferred bachelor’s and master’s degrees upon 238 graduates, the last batch of students from the 43rd cohort. The students represent the faculties of Art; Science; Law and Public Administration; Engineering and Technology; Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Professions; Business and Economics, and Graduate Studies.

Abuhijleh welcomed the university’s new students and noted the spirit of Birzeit University that permeates each successive generation of graduates.  “Each generation paves the way for the next one. Yesterday, Birzeit University’s first-year students sat in your seats, and today, you are leading what they will be learning: freedom of speech, student activism, and openness,” Abuhijleh said addressing the graduates.  

Abuhijleh also mentioned Birzeit University’s rising academic stature, citing the recent QS World University Rankings, which rated the university as one of the top 2.7 percent among 26,000 higher education institutions in the world. 

“Birzeit University is the only Palestinian university to be ranked by QS World University Rankings, and we continue to launch new bachelor’s and master’s programs that meet the needs of the students and the Palestinian community,” he remarked.

As part of its efforts, Abuhijleh commented, the university established a new faculty, the Faculty of Art, Music and Design, which includes three programs: Arabic Music, Contemporary Visual Art, and Design. The design program, he noted, concentrates on design and visual communication skills, and offers a unique learning experience for students.

Salwa Shkokani, who gave the valedictory speech, said that students of Birzeit University came with high expectations, both academic and extra-curricular. “Standing here giving this speech, I can say that these expectations were met and even exceeded,” she commented, congratulating her fellow students and hoping that the positive impact the university had had on them would extend to the broader Palestinian community.

At the end of the ceremony, graduates were handed their certificates after they professed their commitment to the graduates’ oath, which was read by Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Henry Giacaman.