New academic year kicked off with contemporary academic programs and innovative co-curriculum initiatives

On September 9, 2017, around 3500 new students began their journey at Birzeit University for the new academic year 2017-2018. The university welcomed a diverse group of new students, symbols of the growth of the institution, which has reached around 14,000 enrolled student.

University President Abdellatif Abuhijleh wished the students to have an extraordinary semester. “It is the beginning of one of the most transformative journeys of your life. The university is committed to work with you to make sure that your education is transformational, and to engage with you in research and service learning that enables you to make a difference,” Abuhijleh told the students.

The president talked about the achievements that the university has accomplished in the last year. “We are gaining increasing international recognition, and we are proud to be listed in the QS World University Rankings among 3% of the best universities in the world.”

Vice President for Academic Affairs Faisal Awdallah unveiled new academic and co-curricular programs that the university will start to offer in the new academic year 2017/2018.  According to Awadallah, the university has launched a new Bachelor program entitled “Contemporary Visual Art”; an interdisciplinary program that provides a unique learning experience for students in drawing, painting, sculpture, 3D, installation, photography, video, film, sound, performance and social intervention, in addition to historical and theoretical theories.

Awadallah announced that the university commenced in a new unique master’s program, the first of its kind in Palestine. The “Government and Local Government” Program addresses the topic of good governance and national development planning, local development and sustainability. It seeks to cover the gap in the Palestinian public service and non- governmental market by providing both sectors, and their partners from the private sector, with experts who own knowledge, practical skills and experiences.

The “Leadership and Active Citizenship Program” coined under the Arabic word "مساري" is launched, reflecting the university’s core principles and values that aim to enable students to become active agents, equipped with long-life skills and professional competencies. The Vice President for Planning and Development Mirvat Bulbul introduced The new “Leadership and Active Citizenship Program- Masari, “This year we launch the new “Leadership and Active Citizenship Program” coined under the Arabic word “مساري”, meaning "my career path and trajectory". The program, implemented as a co-curricular learning journey, aims to develop university students as responsible and active citizens and forward-looking leaders who are globally connected and locally engaged in the sustainable development of their communities. The program will engage the full new cohort of students and will be rolled out incrementally over the coming 3 years to reach all students in their first 3 years of university education.”

For the second year, Bulbul announced that the university is continuing with the English Language Instruction Program “Unlock”, which was launched for undergraduate students at the beginning of the last academic year 2016/2017.

“The new approach comes in response to the university strategic commitment to advance the teaching of languages in its curricula with emphasis on English language instruction. It responds to the need of equipping BZU students and graduates with the level of language fluency and competency that can support their progression through the demands of their academic programs as well as improve their competitiveness and employ-ability in real life.”

The University celebrated the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year with a host of the annual “Welcoming new students” event sponsored by Cairo Amman Bank.