Higher education in Palestine is considered prosperous and challenging. Prosperous because of the motivation of the Palestinians to share their experiences with others and to learn from them. Challenging because Palestine is not yet considered as an independent state.
By involving 10 partners from five countries, namely Palestine, Italy, Slovenia, Portugal and Ireland, UniGov project has supported the modernization, accessibility, and internationalization of HEIs in Palestine. From a strategic point of view, UniGov project also aimed at improving the quality of higher education in Palestinian universities and it acted as a bridge among the universities, the labor market and other stakeholders.
The project UniGov has addressed weaknesses in the existing governance systems across HEIs in Palestine. The main aim was to establish a common governance framework and to promote the adoption of innovative practices to improve Palestinian Universities governance. This is the challenge, to improve the quality of the education and employability of the students graduated in the country. Prof. Riccardo Mussari from the University of Siena explains how UniGov has addressed it. Indeed, in the framework of the project, Palestinian universities together with the European ones assessed and analysed the existing situation, recommended changes and transferred experiences, fundamental to implement an effective and structured governance. In addition, a diagnostic tool has been created to allow Palestinian Universities to conduct self-evaluations on the governance system, to highlight weaknesses, strengths and priorities.
Muhammad Najjar, from the An-Najah National University of Palestine,coordinaror of the UniGov project, highlights that several achievements have been reached namely a Governance Guidelines Handbook to share good practices and gap analyses. Paul O’ Donovan from the University College of Cork in Ireland explains also that 3-month online training but also a face-to-face training for top managers, academic and administrative staff from Palestinian HEIs have been organised.
Finally Muath Sabha, from the Arab American University of Palestine, added that the Palestinian Universities prepared an action plan and developed a road map.
Marcello Scalisi, Director of UNIMED, concludes by saying that UNIMED itself plays a crucial role in good governance in Education. “Good governance is important for both Mediterranean and European Universities and that for this reason it is fundamental to assist Universities to think strategically and sustainably”. Finally, he stresses on the point that Universities need a transformation from the present to the future, by asking themselves fundamental questions about theirs their strategy and vision.
Learn more about the project by watching the video here.