Al-Quds University and Heinrich Heine celebrate Eighth Commencement of Joint Masters of European Studies

JERUSALEM – The partnership between Al-Quds University in Jerusalem and Heinrich Heine in Dusseldorf has achieved an additional major milestone as another class of the joint Masters of European Studies successfully completed the program this month. The graduate program, which was established in 2009 as a result of a bilateral partnership between the two institutions, celebrated in Dusseldorf the Eighth Commencement for the graduates of this selective masters program. Senior members of Al-Quds University’s leadership were also present.

Students of this graduate program between Al-Quds University and Heinrich Heine University are selected jointly. The program is highly selective, and admitted students receive full scholarships that cover both tuitions and living expenses.

Students come in eager and curious to learn about Europe’s history, policies, culture, economy and government. They leave as prepared professionals capable of navigating issues that relate to the European Union, and ready to provide nuanced analysis and advice to their future employers on matters that pertain to the Old Continent.

Graduates of previous classes have landed jobs both in the public and privates sectors. Several have been recruited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as diplomats working within the European desk, while others have been hired by international organizations, NGOs, as well as by the private sector.

Students enrolled in this program attend the first half of the two-year masters in Palestine, and complete the second year in Düsseldorf, Germany, where they receive both theoretical training as well as practical study tours of the different institutions of the EU. Taught in English, students are also required to learn another European language such as German or French.         

“When Al-Quds University and Heinrich Heine University came together to embark on this educational journey, few believed that it was possible to achieve a partnership between two physically distant and culturally different universities”, said Al-Quds University President Dr. Imad Abu Kishek. “The fact that the eighth cohort of this program is graduating this month proves that in seeking educational opportunities, nothing is impossible”, he added. “It is precisely this diversity that adds unique value to the knowledge, which in the 21st century can no longer be confined to a country or even to a single continent”.

Dr. Abu Kishek praised his students “for weathering the storm of challenges,” including that of “going to a place away from home and successfully adapting to a different academic tradition and to life under a different culture.”  He added that he is also proud of students for returning to Palestine and “ready to help build their own country.”

Although special, this joint program is among several other partnerships that Al-Quds University has built with international universities. The Al-Quds Bard partnership is another example of such successful partnerships. In 2009, Al-Quds University combined with Bard College in New York to open Al-Quds Bard College -- the first liberal arts school in the Middle East. The Dual Studies Program, created in partnership with the German government, is another example. These programs have been achieved as part of Al-Quds University’s strategic plan to diversify and further internationalize its programs with an aim at expanding the learning opportunities for its students.

Al-Quds University is a collegiate research university based in Jerusalem, Palestine.  Established in 1984 as the only Arab university in the city of Jerusalem, Al-Quds University currently offers 93 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, taught through its fifteen degree-granting faculties.  The Masters of European Studies program is part of Al-Quds’ Global Studies  Department, which besides this program, offers a masters in American studies, and two other masters programs in regional and in Israeli studies.

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