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Birzeit University


After the June 1967 war, the West Bank and Gaza fell under Israeli military occupation, and travel restrictions imposed by the occupation authorities often prevented students from pursuing educational opportunities abroad. College administrators saw the pressing need for a university that could meet the educational needs of Palestinian students locally. In 1972 plans were underway to develop a four-year program leading to bachelor's degrees in arts and sciences and to build a new campus on the outskirts of the town of Birzeit. .

With the expected growth of the College, the founders decided to form an autonomous Board of Trustees to ensure the continuity of the institution. The Board was formed in 1973 and assumed full institutional responsibility although it took several years before the Israel military authorities approved its official registration. The first Chairman of the Board after its registration was Tawfik Abu Saud (1902-81). .

The development of the College continued as planned. The third year level was added in 1974 and the fourth in 1975. With the addition of the fourth year, the name of the College was changed officially to "Birzeit University." .

The University became a member of the Association of Arab Universities in April 1976 and on July 11 of that year, the University celebrated the graduation of its first graduates to earn Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. In 1977, the University became a member of the International Association of Universities. .

With the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1993, the University administration decided to further expand its developmental programs as well as its undergraduate and graduate program offerings in response to the pressing need for well-trained graduates to shoulder the new responsibilities of an emerging Palestinian state. Several new centers and institutes were developed and in 1995-96, the University established its Faculty of Graduate Studies. .

Source: http://www.birzeit.edu/about_bzu/p/2542 accessed on 27 April 2011


Institute of Environmental and Water Studies

The Institute of Environmental and Water Studies (IEWS) at Birzeit University (BZU) was established in September 2007 to replace Water Studies Institute which was established in 2001, to offer and contribute to the capacity building of the Palestinian water and environmental sectors by providing knowledge, advisory services, graduate education (Master level), research and continuous education through short-term training in water and environment and related issues. In addition, the Water and Environmental Studies Institute will participate in solving crucial water and environmental problems within Palestine and the neighboring countries through research projects, consulting activities and joint regional activities. .

The decision to establish the Institute of Environmental and Water Studies (IEWS) at BZU came as a direct result of water and environmental sectors problems in Palestine, which require a multidisciplinary approach. As such, the WESI will have direct links with the various faculties and institutes of the university which will help in the implementation of the MSC programs (lecturing input) and research projects. The Institute also offers two Master programs: Master in Water and Environmental Engineering and Master in Water and Environmental Sciences. .

Source: http://www.birzeit.edu/institutes/water_std/ accessed on 27 April 2011

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