Program for postgraduate studies in Applied and Industrial Technology

The industrial sector in Palestine was and still is the weakest link in the Palestinian economy. Its share in GDP had remained as low as 5 to 6%, much of it linked to the Israeli economy through subcontracting arrangements with Israeli firms. The production mainly depends on simple process KNOW-HOW that are brought from Israel and neighbor countries or brought by Palestinians ex-workers in Israeli factories. The major size of industrial establishments is small to medium scale. These are mainly engaged in processing of food stuffs, textiles and clothing, leather products, pharmaceuticals, wood and wooden products, rubber, plastics, chemicals, metals and non-metallic minerals, olive-oil soap and other services. A relatively big part of the experience guiding the sector comes from ex-workers who had gained special skills while working in Israeli industries and / or from subcontracting activities (UNCTAD/DSD/SEU/2/SEPT 1993). These skills are not only few, very narrow to a single process but owned by people without suitable scientific and technical background. This renders creativity, research, technical innovations and development very limited. On the other hand, more than 2/3 of the post-secondary schools, as well as the 23 community colleges and 9 universities, programs were oriented primarily towards teachers training in arts and theoretical disciplines, almost totally neglecting various branches of applied science and technology. This had the effect of depriving the industrial sector, of highly qualified manpower (UNIDO/TSI/PAPP/APRIL 1994).