Higher education in Palestine

The higher education system in Palestine

Recent policy updates, major reforms and related news

Relevant projects and initiatives

TAMs and SPHERE seminars in Palestine

Relevant links

 

The higher education system in Palestine

The main features of the Palestinian Higher Education (HE):

Students can join Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) after completing their General Secondary Certificate Exam GSCE (Tawjihi).

Higher education is divided into two tracks:

  • Education in Community and Technical Colleges: students study for a period of two years, and get a diploma certificate
  • University education: students study for 4 to 6 years to get a bachelor's degree in science, education, humanities, engineering, and medicine.

Universities also offer post-bachelor programmes where they award higher diploma for one year, master's programs for a period of two years, and doctoral programmes in some disciplines for 3 years.

Higher Education Institutions

 

 

Governmental

Public

Private

UNRWA

Open Education

2

-

-

-

-

Traditional Univ.

15

3

9

3

 

University Colleges

20

8

8

3

1

Community Colleges

19

2

11

6

2

Total

56

13

28

12

3

 

Students for the year 2016 – 2017

Type of HEI

No. of HEIs

No. of enrolled students

Traditional Universities

14

136459

Open Education Universities

1

56,027

University Colleges

16

14876

Community Colleges

18

11,053

Total

49

218415

 

Recent policy updates, major reforms and related news

 

 Governance and Management:

  • Adopting the new law of higher education No. (6) for the year 2018, the Ministry started the development of regulations and instructions deriving from it.
  • Restructuring the Higher Education Council as stipulated by law. The Council represents all segments of the academic, economic, civil society and gender.
  • Establishing the Council of University Presidents for the first time to provide the Higher Education Council with consultation and assistance.
  • Computerizing all administrative procedures & systems of higher education (equivalence and accreditation of certificates, the comprehensive application exam for technical colleges, data systems of higher education institutions, the database of scientific research, scholarships and student missions).
  • Establishing a Higher Education (HE) WAQF Fund to provide HEIs with funds to enhance scientific research and higher education

Quality:

  • Restructuring the Board of the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission.
  • The creation of a national classification of the Palestinian universities containing 24 measurable indicators.
  • Working on updating the system of the Commission, and the system of licensing and accreditation of higher education institutions.
  • Adopting new educational programs of a technical nature that respond flexibly to the needs of the labour market.
  • Preparing the licensing and accreditation manual for higher education institutions
  • Preparing the first draft of the quality assurance manual.

Open and Electronic Education systems:

  • Adopting new systems for open and electronic education, and commenced on developing a system, guidelines and by-laws for this purpose.

Scientific Research:

  • Reshaping the Scientific Research Council to be a representative of all national spectrums that are interested in scientific research and unifying efforts in this field.
  • Initiating the preparation of a national strategy for scientific research, to identify the priorities, and unify the national efforts, to improve the scientific research and strengthen it, with a focus on applied scientific research and qualitative development dimension that serve the Palestinian society and support the economy.
  • The Horizon 2020 Advisory Board, which is one of the largest and most important programs supporting scientific research. The program focuses on basic research in all areas that the society needs or affects such as health, climate change, environment, energy, security and mobility, which fall within the Ministry's vision of achieving socio-economic development.
  • Supporting the local universities to develop their research infrastructure. The ministry allocated more than 20 million shekels in this context. It was emphasized that the scientific research should take into account the needs of the Palestinian society and contribute to achieving sustainable development.

Entrepreneurship:

  • Initiating the formulation of a comprehensive national vision for the search for best practices to integrate leadership in higher education.
  • Focusing on the skills of the twenty-first century in institutions of higher education.

Vocational and technical education:

  • Expanding vocational and technical education, whether in infrastructure, technical or administrative.
  • The introduction and use of new types of educational programs that respond flexibly to the needs of the labour market.
  • Preparation of a guide to study plans and programs based on competencies.

 

Relevant projects and initiatives

The theme of internationalization has been first introduced and consolidated into the Palestinian Higher Education system through the Tempus Programme and currently through Erasmus+. Though the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) does not have a national strategy on internationalization, they have introduced a new law on mobility.

The Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission’s head is a member of the HERE Palestine team. One of the notable achievements is drafting a law that for the first time accredits joint master programs and accredits student mobility studies in Europe and elsewhere. This new law has significantly contributed to the increase of the mobility of students, staff, researchers and experts in addition to signing a number of joint agreements with universities from Europe and beyond.  

The Palestinian HEIs have been involved in Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility projects since 2015 with more than 2000 reported mobilities (outgoing and incoming) for students and staff.

A number of Tempus and Erasmus+ programmes have focused on curriculum development and new and innovative Master degrees programmes which respond to market needs.

Between 2008 and 2013, 21 Tempus projects were funded by the EU Tempus IV programme involving 11 Palestinian HEIs and 9 partners from the private sector, and 22 Erasmus+ Capacity Building for Higher Education (CBHE) projects were selected from 2015 until 2018.

List of CBHE projects in Palestine:

 

Project#

Project title

Year

Website

  1.  

561966-EPP-1-2015-1-PS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Develop Business and Economic Research Centers Capacity at Palestinian Higher Education Institutions

2015

http://berc.iugaza.edu.ps

  1.  

561818-EPP-1-2015-1-ES-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Master in Health Informatics

2015

http://www.heal-plus.eu

  1.  

561776-EPP-1-2015-1-PS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Development of Health Informatics integrated curricula in Computing and Health-oriented undergraduate degrees

2015

http://sites.birzeit.edu/hicure/

 

  1.  

561748-EPP-1-2015-1-PS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

The Mediterranean Public HEALTH Alliance

2015

http://med-health-eu.net

  1.  

561940-EPP-1-2015-1-JO-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Modernization of teaching methodologies in higher education: EU experience for Jordan and Palestinian territory

2015

http://methods.ju.edu.jo/

  1.  

561651-EPP-1-2015-1-IT-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

A bottom-up approach for opening up education in South-Mediterranean countries

2015

http://openmedproject.eu/

  1.  

561670-EPP-1-2015-1-UK-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Raising the Quality of Teacher Education Programmes in Palestine

2015

http://tedpal.ps/

  1.  

574131-EPP-1-2016-1-PS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Boosting Innovation in Curricula Development of IT Programs in Palestine

2016

http://Bitpal.ucas.edu.ps

  1.  

574063-EPP-1-2016-1-IT-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Pathway in Forensic Computing

2016

https://www.forc-project.eu/

  1.  

573700-EPP-1-2016-1-PS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Research Output Management through Open Access Institutional Repositories in Palestinian Higher Education

2016

http://romor.iugaza.edu.ps

  1.  

573738-EPP-1-2016-1-PS-EPPKA2-CBHE-SP

Transforming Assessment Practices in Large Enrollment First Year Education

2016

http://www.tap.pna.ps/

  1.  

573684-EPP-1-2016-1-PS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Improving Governance Practices and Palestinian Higher Education Institution

2016

https://www.unigovproject.eu/

, https://www.facebook.com/unigovproject/

  1.  

585772-EPP-1-2017-1-PS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Virtual Reality as an innovative and immersive learning tools for HEIs in Palestine

2017

http://tesla-vr.com/index.php/en/

  1.  

585781-EPP-1-2017-1-PS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

e-Academy to support Smart Cities Operations in Palestine

2017

http://eacademy.ps/

  1.  

586203-EPP-1-2017-1-DE-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Fostering Entrepreneurship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

2017

https://festem.leaders.ps/

  1.  

586301-EPP-1-2017-1-PS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Pathway in Enterprise Systems Engineering

2017

http://pens.ps/home

  1.  

586403-EPP-1-2017-1-PS-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Increasing the Conformance of Academia towards Rehabilitation Engineering

2017

http://icare.alazhar.edu.ps

https://www.facebook.com/ICareEPlus/

  1.  

598405-EPP-1-2018-1-PSEPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Teaching English as Foreign Language in Palestinian HEIs: An e- Learning Initiative that Bridges Educational and Socio-Political Gaps

2018

 

  1.  

598480-EPP-1-2018-1-PSEPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Innovations in Water Education Programs: Enhancing Water Security and Socio-economic Development in the Eastern Mediterranean under

Climate Change

2018

 

  1.  

598665-EPP-1-2018-1-PSEPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Development of TVET Pedagogical Competences and Qualification in Palestinian Universities

2018

 

  1.  

598787-EPP-1-2018-1-PSEPPKA2-CBHE-JP

Strengthening of National Research Capacity on Policy, Conflict Resolution, and Reconciliation

2018

 

  1.  

598750-EPP-1-2018-1-DEEPPKA2-CBHE-JP

INTERNATION MASTER OF SCIENCE ON CYBER PHYSICALSYSTEMS

2018

 

 

Other relevant projects that have been financed by other donors and partners beyond the EU:

UNESCO initiatives:

  • Policy Recommendations for Higher Education Institutions Programmes in Palestine (Report)
  • Modifying bylaws to harmonize international agreements, either general education and higher education
  • Co-chairing higher education thematic working group

 

World Bank initiatives:

  • E2WTP and E2WTP-AF: The Education to Work Transition Project (E2WTP) is expected to have a positive impact on poverty reduction by facilitating the transition to work of young Palestinians and thus contributing to reducing some of the drivers of conflicts and to improved livelihood prospects and quality of life in WB&G.
  • TEIP and TEIP-AF: Teacher Education Improvement Project & Additional Financing (TEIP & TEIP-AF), the prime objective of the project is to improve the competencies and skills of class teachers (i.e., those teaching grades one to four) in WBG schools, and in doing so to contribute to enhancing students’ learning in primary schools.
  • TEP and TEP-AF: The tertiary education system faces challenges related to financial sustainability, efficiency in the management of the resources available, relevance and quality of the supply, and lack of equitable distribution of student aid programs, so this project aims to support tertiary education institutions’ innovation programs and build the capacity of their faculty.

 

TAMs and SPHERE seminars in Palestine

 

Two-day workshop on Improving financial management of HE system in Palestine.

Beneficiary Institution: An-Najah National University

Date: 24-25 January 2018

Location: Nablus, Palestine

Expert: Thomas A. H. Schöck

Type: National Workshop

Outcomes:

  • Promoted the modernization of financial management (FM) practices and income diversification strategies in Palestinian higher education institutions (HEIs), with a view to sustainably strengthen the Higher Education systems and maximize the social return on investment in Higher Education (HE).
  •  Enhanced human, organisational and technical capacities of Palestinian HEIs.
  • Increased efficiency in FM and income diversification, promoting accountability and transparency through systematization and promotion of good practice.
  • Promoted national integration through creating a network of financial managers pursuing modernisation of FM systems and practices.

 

Internationalization of Palestinian Universities in the context of learning, teaching and research

Expert: Dr. Tony Mahon

Beneficiary Institution: The Islamic University of Gaza

Location: Gaza

Date: 12-13 February, 2018

Type: National workshop

Outcomes:

  • Gained new ideas, improved the knowledge about internationalization in the context of Palestine, how to benefit from it, and met experts in that field.
  • Had been exposed to a useful tool to assess the current situation and learn more methodologies needed to achieve internationalization.
  • Gained more information on how to internationalize universities, curriculum, develop strategic plans, identify the components of internationalization, enhance the opportunities to be internationalized, and create international course.

 

Implementing e-Learning Strategies to Enhance Teaching and Learning

Beneficiary Institution: Palestine Polytechnic University

Expert:  Prof. Melita Kovacevic

Location: Hebron- West Bank

Date: 23-24 Jan, 2019

Type: Two-day educational workshop

Outcomes:

  • Awareness of the effect of using e-learning on teaching and learning
  • Skills in using e-learning in teaching and learning at the university level.
  • Awareness on some research methods on using e-learning.
  • Awareness of the various strategies of using e-learning in higher education.

 

Relevant links

HERE link in NEO website: http://erasmusplus.ps/page-579-en.html

Ministry of Education and Higher Education: http://www.mohe.pna.ps/

Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission (AQAC): http://www.aqac.mohe.gov.ps/en/