University Staff Development Programs

Since its inception, Birzeit University has paid great attention to staff development by establishing relationships and agreements with several institutions through which dozens of teaching staff members have been granted scholarships to pursue advanced degrees. The university has sent approximately 110 faculty members to study in renowned universities in various different fields: plant biotechnology, microbiology, social theory, human geography, geometrics engineering, management, land tenure in the field of architectural engineering, and many other disciplines. Currently, 40 teaching staff members are pursuing their studies under the scholarship program.
Ifad Scholarship Program
The Ifad Scholarship Program triggered a qualitative leap in the university’s quest for academic excellence. This program, a grant-based agreement signed by the university administration with PalTel Group Foundation in 2012, extends for five years. The agreement stipulates that PalTel Group will provide annual funding to send teaching staff to earn their PhD degrees from universities abroad in disciplines prioritized by the university.In 2012 and 2013, nine teaching staff members benefited from the grant, studying at British, French, Belgian, Malaysian, Canadian, American, German and other universities. Those staff members majored in computer science, architectural and electrical engineering and nursing.
Other Scholarship Programs
Ifad Scholarship Program is the most recently established, but certainly not the only program. A cooperation agreement with the French Consulate covers tuition fees and travel expenses, excluding living and housing costs, while the university loans students living and housing expenses. In 2012/2013, three teaching staff members benefited from this grant, majoring in geography and computer engineering, while the previous year two teaching staff members used the grant to major in computer science and public administration.
Four teaching assistants, in conjunction with Ifad, benefited from the British Council scholarship program HESPAL, earning their Master’s degrees in 2011/2012. Five more grantees in 2012/2013 majored in accounting, finance, architectural engineering and linguistics.
Moreover, the European Commission through the program Erasmus Mundus has offered several scholarships for Master's and doctoral degrees, as well as for post-doctorate research. In 2012/2013, two professors and a number of other master's degree candidates utilized these grants to earn doctoral degrees.
Also individual grants have been awarded, among them a grant from Illinois State University allowing a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Information Technology to earn his MBA degree.
Towards a Youth Cadre
The Birzeit University administration believes that these programs are of vital importance in expanding its youth cadre, providing new blood and a dynamic professional development program promoting organizational and community transformation. This cadre is comprised of experienced adult practitioners who are committed to cultivating shared knowledge, overcoming limitations, and sharing multiple perspectives from the field.