The Dual Studies program at Al-Quds University held its first “Advisory Conference”, which took place over the course of two days, 19-20 February 2019 in Ramallah, with the participation of representatives of private sector partner institutions for the three Dual Studies programs, Electrical Engineering, Business Administration and Information Technology, and in the presence of the Dean of the Dual Studies program, Prof. Dr. Salaheddin Odeh, Vice President of AQU for Scientific Research Development and Innovation, Dr. Isam Ishaq, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Ibrahim Afana, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, Dr. Dr. Mohammed Al-Haj, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics, Mr. Nasser Tahboub, Director of the Business Administration Program, Ms. Sand Salhout, Director of the Electrical Engineering Program, Dr. Emad Al-Zair, Director of the Information Technology Program, Dr. Raed Al-Zaghal, and Head of GIZ More Job Opportunities for Palestinian Youth(MJO), Ms. Kirsten Freimann.
Opening the conference, Prof. Dr. Salaheddin Odeh expressed his pride in the success of the program in the region, and for being the first of its kind program in the Middle East to be implemented with the support of the German Government. He pointed out that the program of Dual Studies is one of the most distinguished programs which are offered by Al-Quds University, as it presents an advanced educational system that combines theoretical study with practical application, and it aims mainly at bridging the gap between the outputs of higher education and the demands of the labour market.
Prof. Dr. Odeh gave a full explanation of the structure of the program and its current and future programs as well as its implementation mechanisms, he also highlighted the successes achieved over the past four years. Prof. Dr. Ode thanked the private sector partners for their contribution and real partnership, and pointed out that Al Quds University has signed agreements with more than 170 companies and institutions from the Palestinian private sector to train students during their studies and enable them in the practical field.
Speaking on behalf of the German side, Ms. Kirsten Freimann pointed out that the German government sees the model of Dual Studies at Al-Quds University as a pioneering and successful experience that requires attention. She stressed the continuous support of the German government for the program at Al-Quds University in order to provide better opportunities for Palestinian youth and to award them with more opportunities in the labour market.
On the other hand, Ms. Salhout , Dr. Al-Zair and Dr. Al-Zajel presented a review of the curricula that are currently being taught in the Dual Studies program, which were designed to suit the needs of the labour market and the continuous development of its requirements and structure. While Mr. Jameel Sultan, Local Advisor for the Program, gave an evaluation of the practical period in the companies. In general, all speakers stressed the importance of enhancing the role of the private sector and its greater involvement in the teaching process within the program through its effective contribution to the development of curricula and hosting private speakers within the classroom in order to transfer experiences and strengthen the partnership between the university and the private sector.
At the end of the conference, representatives of private sector companies expressed the importance of the program in matching the outputs of education system with the labour market and its requirements, expressing their high appreciation of the importance of partnership with Al Quds University within this distinguished program. They also praised the excellence of the students of the Dual Studies program, pointing out that their companies rely heavily on this type of investment in the formation of future employees and that the opportunity is very great to employ the students of the program after graduation, taking into account their experience and commitment.