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About the Al-Quds Bard Partnership

Al-Quds University and Bard College have joined forces in a comprehensive partnership that seeks to raise the level of Palestinian education, as the best means of preparing young Palestinians to assume the responsibilities of leadership and self-governance in a future democratic state. The joint venture is the first in the region to offer graduates a U.S. and a Palestinian degree—both at the Bachelor’s and at the Master’s level.

The Al-Quds Bard Partnership believes that to educate future leaders and foster economic development education should encourage a critical turn of mind and an entrepreneurial spirit. Students should have a chance to achieve excellence in the social sciences and humanities as well as the natural sciences.

The project has three interlinked components:

Al-Quds and Bard share responsibility for curricular development, faculty training, recruitment, and governance. Collaboration includes frequent exchange visits as well as the use of advanced technology.

The partnership between Al-Quds and Bard College seeks to help realize the two institutions’ shared educational goals in ways that are effective and sustainable, and that contribute to systemic improvement of the Palestinian education system. The partnership is a source of invaluable knowledge and experience for the international faculty, students, and institutions involved in the exchanges, as well.

About Al-Quds University

Since its inception Al-Quds University has been a pioneer in Palestinian education by educating the whole person: socially, intellectually, and spiritually. The vital role creativity, cooperation, pluralism, and research play in university life can be seen in our various departments, institutes, and museums.  We are constantly bringing more talents and resources into the university in order to provide our students with the necessary knowledge, facilities, and technologies to thrive in a globalizing world. For this we consider it imperative to look to the larger community in the Palestinian diaspora as well as to people of goodwill worldwide for partnerships in advancing our essential mission.

“Palestine is ripe for a high-quality liberal arts college. The West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza have a population of more than four million people, with 76 percent of the population under the age of 30, and 48 percent in high schools. Yet despite the hardships of poverty and oppression, more than 98 percent of high school students graduate. I believe this speaks to the strong spirit of our youth. Once shaped by the rigors of a humanistic education, their qualities of curiosity and love for learning can be a catalyst for positive change. Our students, loyal to their heritage and yet open to the world, can be the generation that will liberate Palestine from the inside. This, we believe, is a necessary condition for enduring political liberty.”

                                                                        --President Sari Nusseibeh

Al-Quds University is the only Arab university in Jerusalem.  Established in 1984, it was consolidated after 1995 under the presidency of Dr. Sari Nusseibeh.  It has close to 12,000 students and comprises 13 academic faculties: Arts, Business and Economics, Da’wa and Religious Studies, Dentistry, Education, Health Professions, Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health, Qur'an and Islamic Studies, and Science and Technology. It has more than 30 centers and institutes: (Math Museum, Prisoners affairs Museum, and an institute of Modern Media, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Center for Jerusalem Studies).

About Bard College

Bard College is a private four-year undergraduate, residential liberal arts college located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Founded in 1860, Bard has 1,900 undergraduates. It offers the B.A. degree with concentrations in more than 40 academic programs in four divisions: Arts; Languages and Literature; Science, Mathematics, and Computing; and Social Studies. It also offers seven M.A. degrees and a Ph.D. in Decorative Arts and Design.

Bard is a prominent force for the reform and improvement of education at the secondary level. Its Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program and Bard High School Early Colleges have developed successful new models of teacher and secondary education. Bard runs high quality college-level educational programs for prisoners and other underserved populations in the U.S.

Immediately following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bard began collaborating with educational institutions abroad that sought to introduce liberal education in “countries in transition.” Bard’s Institute for International Liberal Education (IILE)  created comprehensive partnerships based on the principles of mutuality and equality. Today, in addition to the Al-Quds Bard Partnership, Bard offers joint B.A. degree programs in Russia (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences—Smolny College, with St. Petersburg State University and Kyrgyzstan (American University of Central Asia), and the world’s only full-semester human rights program, in South Africa (International Human Rights Exchange—IHRE, with the University of the Witwatersrand).

The numerous initiatives of Bard’s Center for Civic Engagement reflect the College’s belief in the link between liberal education and democracy. Bard’s leadership in this area demonstrates that educational institutions have a key role to play in the struggle for democracy, both at home and internationally.