Eight professors and instructors from five Palestinian universities have recently wrapped up an eight-day course on the education of environmental and water sciences that was organized by Birzeit University’s Institute of Environmental and Water Studies and IHE-Delft as part of the second phase of the Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation on Water (PADUCO-II).
Comprising two sessions − held from June 16 to 20 and from August 4 to 8, 2019 − the course focused on building the capacities of professors in environmental and water sciences at Palestinian universities, emphasizing interactive education that revolves around student feedback and discussion. The course also featured special exercises and tasks that help instructors bolster their strengths and allay their weaknesses.
During this course, participants from Birzeit University, Al-Najah National University, Al-Quds University, the Palestine Technical University−Kadoorie, and the Palestine Polytechnic University presented 50-minute lectures to their peers in their respective areas of expertise. They also engaged with Carel Keuls, a senior knowledge management advisor at IHE Delft, in one-on-one sessions to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses.
The participants furthermore discussed the best methods to create new academic courses that keep students abreast of the latest developments and advancements in environmental and water sciences, encouraging them to become active contributors in knowledge production. They examined ways to expand cooperation in research and development between Palestinian universities..
PADUCO is a large consortium that comprises six Palestinian universities (Birzeit, Al-Najah, Al-Quds, Khadoorie, Polytechnic University, and Islamic University of Gaza) and five Dutch higher education institutions (Twente, TU-Delft, Wagenninegen, Vrij University of Amsterdam, and IHE-Delft). PADUCO is funded by the Government of the Netherlands through the Netherlands Representative Office in Ramallah.
The project aims to bolster the institutional and organizational capabilities of the water sector in Palestine and to support its efforts in providing and managing water resources both in medium and long terms.
Executed in partnership with various governmental and non-governmental organizations, the project raises awareness of water-related concerns by holding training courses for students, farmers, researchers, and decision-makers; developing college curricula; and providing exchange opportunities for students and staff members.