Organizing “The Role of Palestinian Universities in Building a knowledge Based Economy” Workshop
On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, An-Najah National University in cooperation with Palestinian Higher Education Reform Experts (HERES) organized a workshop titled “ The Role of Palestinian Universities in Building a knowledge Based Economy,” which took place at An-Najah National University's Scentific Centers Buliding.
The workshop was inaguarted by Dr. Nedal Jayousi, Director of the National Erasmus Office in Palestine (NEO). It was co-moderated by Dr. Imad Ibrik, EU-Projects' Coordinator and HERES Member at An-Najah University, and Dr. Jayousi.
It was attended by Prof. Adbelnaser Zaid, An-Najah's Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Imad Brik, EU-Projects' Coordinator and HERES Member, Dr. Rabeh Morrar, Research Director at Palestine Economic Policy Research, and Mr. Rasem Suwan, Director of ANNU Business Innovation and Technology Hub as well as a number of representatives from different local higher education institutions.
The event started with an opening speech by Prof.Adbelnaser Zaid who highlited the role of the European Union Erasmus + program in supporting higher education institutions in Palestine. Prof. Zaid mentioned that An-Najah National University has always been interested in the EU projects, and pointed out that ANNU has participated since 2003 in Tempus projects, and then the Erasmus + program.
Also, Prof. Zaid emphasized on the role of the EU in supporting Palestinian universities in establishing scientific centers, units, and programs that play a vital role in creating a sustinable higher education system. Furthermore, Prof. Zaid mentioned that the knowledge-based economy, and digital economy are vital components of current international economics.
Prof. Zaid added: "Since its establishment, An-Najah National University aspires to employ its various capabilities to support a knowledge-based economy, where economic developments depend on investments in education, learning and training. Today, our universities realize the essential role that higher education plays in building knowledge-based economies."
Dr. Jayousi welcomed the key speakers and attendants, highlighting the significant role that Erasmus+ Palestine plays in sustaining and developing Palestinian Higher Education Institutions. Also, he shed light on the importance of the workshop, which is part of a broader project led by Erasmus+ and the local higher education experts, aiming at reforming the Higher Education System in Palestine.
Dr. Jayousi also highlighted the vital role that the Palestinian Universities play in the transition into a knowledge-based economy and hence achieving economic growth and development.
Dr. Morrar talked abut the the concept of knowledge-based economy (KBE) and the Knowledge triangle, and discussed how universities should respond to the on-going changes in the knowledge based economy. He also spoke about the Triple-Helix Model of Innovation in Palestine.
Dr. Suwan talked about the innovation hub at ANNU and its strategies of developing the knowledge-based economy in Palestine. He also mentioned that NGATE focuses through its activities and programs on developing skills that are essential for the knowledge-based economy . He added: "The hub is working on building a cooperative partnership between the University and the local economic community."
Dr. Ibrik provided an overview of EU projects that were implemented at An Najah University during the last six years. He also the role of the EU projects in enhancing the principle of “Knowledge-Based Economy” in Palestinian universities, and mentioned that the EU projects aim to boost HEIs capacity through stronger cooperation and knowledge flow among higher education institutions, vocational education and training , businesses and the broader socio-economic.
The workshop was concluded with a question and answer session which included an active discussion with the key speakers about several topics related the event.
The workshop resulted in a number of recommendations, most important of which are reforming and improving the educational system in Palestine to produce graduates who are better prepared for the labour market and expanding the partnership between universities and local economic sectors.