President Abuhijleh Puts BZU Innovative Role at the Heart of Bosphorus Summit Speech

The President of Birzeit University, Dr. Abdullatif Abuhijleh, participated in the Eighth Bosphorus Summit, organized by the International Cooperation Platform in Turkey between November 27-30, 2017. This year’s summit was held under the theme of “Design of The Future: The New Challenge of Globalization.”

Under this title, the impact of disruptive technologies, stagnating incomes, low growth, low productivity, geopolitical conflicts, and environmental crisis were discussed in detail, with inquiries into risks and opportunities and the ways to address the distribution of the benefits of globalization, as well as the fourth industrial revolution.

The summit was held with the participation of a number of prominent leaders from the region, who sought to contribute to the strengthening of networks among nations, and addressing global challenges more effectively. Dr. Abuhijleh participated as a panelist, where he discussed “The Role of Universities in Designing the Future.”

In his remarks, the President talked about the innovative role that universities should have in today’s evolving world, especially in Palestine, which is still captive to occupation and relies heavily on foreign aid. “Palestinian universities should always be breaking new ground to produce knowledge and be the leaders in creating change,”Abuhijleh explained.  

“Universities cannot exist in isolated spheres of academic work and rigor,” Dr. Abuhijleh pointed, “but are obliged to be socially engaged, and ensure that their research, innovation, and academic approaches can contribute to the sustainable development of their societies.”

President Abuhjileh assured that creating and nurturing an internal culture of innovation and entrepreneurship is one of the top priorities for Birzeit University. “We recognize the need to adapt and resist the pressures we face due to the occupation, so that we can substantially contribute to national job creation and help drive growth across all industry sectors, while at the same time, improve the lives and well-being of the local Palestinian communities and the wider society.”

“Birzeit University has taken notice of the widespread changes taking place in the world due to the fourth industrial revolution, in addition to the political and economic challenges that Palestine faces. That is why Birzeit University has launched, hosted, and facilitated new programs that have made innovation part of the fabric of the university.”

Starting from the inauguration of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit, to the launch of the Leadership and Active Citizenship Program, The Business Incubator-B-Hub, the Innovation Labs, and the Palestinian-Indian Techno Park, the President reaffirmed that the Birzeit is committed to accompanying its students on their educational journeys, to ensure that their education is inspirational and life changing.

At the Eighth Bosphorus Summit, 37 concurrent panels focusing on banking, finance, telecommunication, energy, construction, transportation, and the role of univeristies were held, with a close look at the sectors' statuses and future agendas.