Palestine Polytechnic University has celebrated the signing of a tripartite agreement between the PPU and the Arab American University of Jenin and Al-Quds University to launch a joint PhD program in Information Technology Engineering, the first of its kind in Palestine.
The signing ceremony took place in the presence of the Chairman of the UGU/Chairman of the PPU Board of Trustees Mr. Ahmad Sa’id Tamimi, the Chairman of the administration of the Arab American University Dr. Yousef Asfour, the President of the PPU Dr. Imad Khatib, the AAUJ President Dr. Ali Abu Zuhri, the representative of the President of Al-Quds University Prof. Hasan Dweik, in addition to the members of the specialized committees, representatives and vice-presidents of the partner universities, and the deans of specialized colleges. It is noteworthy that specialized committees from the three partner universities have worked on this program for two years to get accreditation from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. At the beginning of the ceremony Mr. Ahmad Tamimi, welcomed the attendees by praising the efforts exerted by the program/s committees and stressing the importance of the Palestinian universities in serving Palestine cause to move towards liberation and gain independence. He also pointed out that this program aimed to provide high quality education for IT students and enable them to become distinguished researchers and academicians in this field. Dr. Asfour, in his speech, stressed the importance of this program which brought three Palestinian partner universities together to establish this specialized PhD program in IT and that they would provide all available resources in this regard. He also emphasized the idea of partnership and the attraction of the Palestinian manpower to work within these disciplines in the Palestinian universities. As well, Abu Zuhri also emphasized the idea of having a joint PhD program in IT and the positive effects of the diverse experiences of the teaching staff on graduates’ performance. He also pointed out that the partner universities have many qualified human resources and distinguished academic and scientific expertise in IT fields, and , therefore, they are qualified and capable of implementing the proposed PhD program. They have a wide experience through their active participation in the dissemination of scientific research in prestigious journals worldwide and in various international and local conferences, in addition to their international relations with researchers and research institutions in different countries of the world, noting also that their experience in organizing scientific workshops and holding conferences in the field of engineering and information technology would enrich the program with interdisciplinary approach available at these universities and help in building an integrated and multidisciplinary research base. Dr. Hasan Dweik added that this unique cooperation with the participation of 45 researchers of different ranks would enhance the status of the Palestinian scientific research regionally and globally, and he felt proud of the many Palestinian competences despite the difficulties they continuously face due to the Israeli occupation, stressing the importance of the proposed program in assisting, empowering the various sectors such as health, education and financial and statistical institutions in the Palestinian community, and enhancing research work with these sectors. Dr. al-Khatib expressed his happiness and pride in this unique program and the partnership between Palestine Polytechnic University and the two other universities, pointing out that higher education has actually emerged from the suffering of the Palestinian people, the basis of human capital industry, and that this program has been ranked among the best higher education programs at the PhD level regionally and globally. He added that they followed the best international standards when preparing this program to provide the students with the latest practical and theoretical knowledge. The program as he said has been designed to guide the young researchers to search topics in the various IT engineering modern fields as well as focussing on identifying, analyzing, modeling and solving problems in information technology and IT areas as a basic and practical application. In a related context, Dr. Radwan Tahboub, the Dean of the Information Technology and Computer Engineering stressed the importance of this agreement in having mutual interests between Palestine Polytechnic University and the two other partner universities to enhance cooperation in the field of IT and Computer Engineering and also to achieve all the objectives of launching this program in terms of getting accreditation from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education according to law and organizing the management of the program. This program as he said would be launched after obtaining the necessary approvals and applying for accreditation as well as improving scientific research and exchange among the parties in the field of IT and making contacts and agreements with the various international experts and researchers in IT and other relevant fields to ensure the success of this program when approved and licensed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Then Dr. Tahboub talked about the different committees of the partner universities, presided by Prof. Nabil Erman, Dr. Mahmoud al-Saheb, Dr. Musa Farajallah, and Dr. Radwan Tahboub, from Palestine Polytechnic Universities, and membership of Dr. Amjad Ratrout,and Dr. Muath Sabha, from the Arab American University of Jenin, and Dr. Rashid Jayousi, Dr. Issam Ishaq and Prof. Salah Odeh, from al-Quds University, in addition to many local and international researchers. He also added that the committees spent a whole two years of working and making studies about the labor market needs, the feasibility, and the prepared the objectives, the courses to be offered, mechanism of research, the systems and laws related to the program, and the application to be submitted for accreditation. It is noteworthy that the partner universities have provided the required facilities and resources for this IT doctoral program: Excellent buildings for IT centers of excellence and building for the colleges of information technology and engineering that can accommodate all the students enrolled in the program at the lowest costs, in addition to university libraries, modern computer labs and centers, and internet, all to be at the disposal of the students of the program. Graduates of partner universities and other national universities, in addition to graduates of recognized universities abroad will also have the opportunity to enroll in this program. This proposed program aims also to limit postgraduates’ migration to other countries, either for study or work, save their time and money, and also utilize from research work for the sake of Palestine.