Birzeit University, Finnish Mission Discuss Media Cooperation

Birzeit University President Abdul Latif Abu Hijleh received the Representative Office of Finland’s head of mission, Ambassador Pirkko-Liisa Kyöstilä, and discussed expanding existing cooperation with the university’s Media Development Center (MDC). 

Life-long education director, Tobio Kojala, and head of development cooperation at the Representative Office of Finland, Karita Laisi, accompanied Kyöstilä. Also in attendance were Vice President for Community Outreach Lisa Taraki, Media Development Center director Nibal Thawabteh, and the center’s Media Research and Policy Unit head Saleh Masharqa.

Abu Hijleh introduced the Finnish delegation to the history of Birzeit University and its academic programs and explained the academic institution's dedication to deepening and strengthening cooperation with Finnish partners. Abu Hijleh said that many students seek to study at Birzeit University and 65 percent of its students are female.

He also described Israel’s occupation, which continues to hinder students’ ability to attend the university, blocks invited academics from lecturing at Palestinian universities, and bars students from the Gaza Strip from studying in the West Bank.

The two sides also discussed existing partnerships between MDC and the Finnish government. Last March, an agreement was signed to execute the “Media Education for Palestinian Young Journalists“ project. The project includes efforts to develop a media guidebook entitled, “Youth’s Media Guide in Palestine.” This guidebook, the first to be published online, will be available in Arabic and English on the center’s website and is intended to benefit all young Palestinian journalists. The center also plans to hold workshops to introduce Palestinian youth and university students to the media guidebook.

Ambassador Kyöstilä and the accompanying delegation visited the MDC and toured its studios and training labs. They also met with the center’s staff for an overview of their work, trainings, projects and services provided to professional journalists, media institutions and related governmental bodies.