Workshop Proposes Joint EU-Palestinian PhD Programs

Birzeit University and the Higher Education Reform Committee held a workshop on October 18, 2016 to discuss the prospects of adding PhD programs to the Palestinian higher education system.

A number of deans and academics from different universities reviewed the role of the Ministry of Education and Higher education, and the regulations needed to encourage joint PhD programs with EU universities.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Henry Giacaman pointed out that a doctoral education is the most valuable asset that an aspiring academic can have. “We believe that this workshop will pave the way to develop a concrete program for higher education. A PhD degree is a fundamental component of research, which is critical to a successful academic system.”

“It is a strategic national priority to create knowledge societies, especially by empowering the teaching staff at the higher education level,” Giacaman pointed out.

Palestinian Higher Education Reform Experts Committee of Erasmus+ (HEREs) member and Birzeit University associate professor Ahmed Abu Hanieh talked about the requirements needed to enable Palestinian universities to launch a doctoral program in Palestine, such as networking with international and local academic universities, activating a student and faculty exchange, and expanding academic training programs.

Muhammad Al-Subou', chairman of the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission (AQAC) for Higher Education Institutions in Palestine, said that despite the constraints that hinder development in the educational and higher educational sector, Palestinian universities have witnessed large shifts and improvements but have yet to reach their full potential.