BZU joins Erasmus+ 30th anniversary Celebrations

Over 200 Palestinian Erasmus alumni, Birzeit University students and professors, especially the beneficiaries from Erasmus+, participated in the 30th anniversary celebration of the formerly named Erasmus Program, now called Erasmus+.

The ceremony was attended by EU Representative Ralph Tarraf, Palestinian Minister of Education Dr. Sabri Saidam, and the Director of the Erasmus National Office in Palestine, Dr. Nidal Jayousi.

The Director of the External Academic Relations Office, the liaison between Birzeit University and other academic partners, Dr. Amir Khalil, said that the University is collaborating with 29 universities across Europe, , and 97 students and faculty members have benefited from Erasmus+.

Representative Tarraf pointed to Erasmus' role in building mutual understanding within Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world. "The program has invested in human beings, in education and knowledge."

"Today, we celebrate 30 years of Erasmus and our partnership with Palestinian students and universities.  We are proud that Erasmus alumni – Europeans and Palestinians - are working together to build Palestinian institutions.  We are also proud of your efforts to connect and share experiences," he added.

Jayousi said that nine years ago, the National Erasmus Office was established with only two projects and 50 beneficiaries. Today, according to Jayousi, almost 37 projects and 1400 grants have awarded by Palestinian and European universities.

"We look forward to working with all stakeholders throughout the year in designing more educational and training programs that connect us with the world."

The Minister of Education and Higher Education, Sabri Saidam, spoke about the importance of the program for both Palestinians and Europeans. "Not only does an Erasmus+ experience allow people to discover a new culture, but it builds bridges and trust between people and nations."

Erasmus+ is a broad program offering European opportunities to the Southern Mediterranean region and other regions in the fields of education, training, youth and sport with almost €15 billion. The program also adopts a single, unified structure with different key action areas: mobility; capacity building in higher education; and support to policy reform; in addition to Jean Monnet Activities