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On Sunday, October 7, 2018, Professor Maher Natsheh, Acting President of An-Najah received a delegation from France headed by Mr. Richard Ramus, French Parliament member. Mr. Ramus was accompanied with journalist Philippe Magner, Office Manager of France Bleu Radio in Orléans, Mr. Osama Mustafa and Mr. Ramus daughter.

The meeting was also attended by Dr. Mohammad Al-Amleh, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Wasim Bishawi, Head of the French Department and visit coordinator, Mr. Mohammad Kobari, Acting Director of the Public Relations Department, Miss Aya Jabri from the International Office and Mrs. Shatha Jararaa from PR.

The visit aimed at learning about An-Najah and discussing further means of mutual cooperation with the University. It also aimed at learning about French language teaching and learning in the north of the West Bank and discussing the possibility of finding an alternative to the French Cultural Institute in Nablus which has been recently closed by the French Consulate General Jerusalem.

Prof. Natsheh welcomed the delegation and expressed his gratitude to the French government for always supporting the Palestinian people and An-Najah. He also briefed the delegation on An-Najah's academic programmes, students and campuses as well as the obstacles that face higher education in Palestine including the difficulty of attracting international students and expertise to teach at the Palestinian universities.

In addition, he talked about partnership agreements An-Najah has with a number of French universities and mentioned that An-Najah was the first academic institution in Palestine to offer a Bachelor degree in French language. He added that in addition to offering a BA in French language, the university offers other minor French programmes and a free French course for all university students.

Finally, he discussed the obstacles that faced the University with regards to dispatching students to French universities and the negative impact of closing the French Institute on the Palestinian community and French language learning in the north of the West Bank. He said that it is important to expand and develop French language programmes in governmental schools.

In turn, Mr. Ramos thanked An-Najah administration for the hospitality and stressed the importance of the mutual cooperation between An-Najah and the French universities. He also referred to the importance of offering a new French institute in Nablus that connects the French people with French speakers of other languages.

During their visit, the delegation met with a number of French students to learn about their needs and the challenges facing them while learning French as well as their future prospects. They also commended the academic efficiency of the Department's students and teachers.

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