Bulgarian ambassador’s visit to strengthen academic relations

Georgi Milenov, the ambassador of Bulgaria to Palestine, discussed cooperation with Bulgarian universities and institutions of higher education in a visit to Birzeit University on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. 

During the visit, Milenov met with President of Birzeit University Abdullatif Abuhijleh and External Academic Relations Officer Amir Khalil. Abuhijleh gave a brief overview of the university’s history and its academic offerings, outlining how it transformed from a small school for girls into the foremost Palestinian university with nine faculties that offer more than 110 programs. 

Abuhijleh also highlighted the university’s liberal, democratic atmosphere, with annual student council elections that serve as a barometer for the Palestinian political scene, and stressed the role the university’s 11 institutes and centers play in community engagement and development.

Khalil emphasized the university’s growing ties with institutions of higher education around the world through bilateral partnerships and international schemes such as Erasmus+. He then discussed with Milenov ways to strengthen Birzeit University’s connections with Bulgarian universities through joint projects, workshops, and student- and faculty-exchange programs. 

Reviewing internationalization efforts at Birzeit University, Abuhijleh denounced the visa policies Israel applies to international or Palestinian-origin faculty and staff who work at the university or plan to do so. He explained that the Israeli authorities have denied and delayed the visas of many professors and teachers, thereby preventing the university from fully integrating within international academic and scientific bodies and from enriching education in Palestine with international knowledge and expertise.