University gains Ukrainian connections with visit of prominent law professor

Viktor Muraviov, head of the Chair of Comparative and European Law in the Institute of International Relations at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine, discussed expanding cooperation with Birzeit University’s faculties and institutes in a visit to the campus on Saturday, June 29, 2019. 

In this visit, facilitated by the Palestinian Alumni Association of Ukrainian Universities and Institutes, Muraviov met with External Academic Relations Officer Amir Khalil and Director of the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies Lord Habash who introduced him to the university’s history, academic offerings, and institutes and centers. 

Khalil gave a brief overview of how the university began as an all-girls school in 1924, became a college in the 1940s, and turned into a full-fledged university in 1972. Today, Khalil added, Birzeit University is the foremost Palestinian university, according to several international rankings, and, with its nine faculties and 11 institutes and centers, plays a prominent role in advancing and developing the Palestinian community.

Khalil also highlighted the university’s Palestine and Arabic Studies Program (PAS), a comprehensive program that offers Arabic-language and social science courses to international students. He discussed the possibility of inviting students from Taras University’s Language Center to enroll in the available courses offered by PAS. 

Habash provided a review of the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies, highlighting its focus on politics, diplomacy, and foreign policy through its integrated and interdisciplinary master’s program in international studies. 

The Abu Lughod Institute regularly hosts professors, experts, and ambassadors to discuss issues of local, regional, and international relevance, Habash added. She noted that activities such as annual international conferences are organized as part of the institute’s mission to raise community awareness and advance education. 

Muraviov briefly outlined the history and current standing of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, saying that it is ranked as the best higher education institution in Ukraine and one of the top 550 universities in the world. Taras Shevchenko University, he explained, houses 13 faculties and eight institutes and research centers and enrolls around 30,000 students in programs that lead to bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees.