Open Society Foundation discusses prospects to expand cooperation in PhD program

A delegation from the Open Society Foundation- Higher Education Support Program visited Birzeit University on July 3, 2017 to explore opportunities of investment in higher- education. The delegation met with the University President Abdullatif Abuhijleh, and the Director of the PhD program in Social Sciences Liza Taraki.

The purpose for their visit is to learn more about the education sector and better understand the local context, needs and challenges.  The delegation explored areas where they can expand their support, focusing on the university’s PhD Program in Social Sciences.

President Abuhijleh introduced the university’s faculties and academic programs, as well as its role in local community service. He also briefed the delegation on the academic realities on the ground and dilemmas facing higher education in Palestine, including the financial crises afflicting the Palestinian universities and Israeli occupation laws that obstruct the attraction of academics from abroad while preventing students from the Gaza Strip to study in West Bank universities.

Taraki talked about the Open Society Foundation’s support to the University’s PhD program. “We have a unique, interdisciplinary program in social sciences. Yet, it is very challenging due to the social, economic and political environment in Palestine. Therefore, funding is always needed to make this program prosper and continue”, Taraki assured.