Irish Universities Links Report

This is a copy of the original Bethlehem University news article

New Links Forged With Irish Universities

Bethlehem University will soon have greater academic links with its Irish friends after a successful visit with representatives from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Dr. John Kelly, a great friend and supporter of Bethlehem University, and the chairperson of the Friends of Bethlehem University in Ireland, visited with two representatives from NUI Maynooth over three days.

Joining Dr. Kelly was Professor John Hughes, the President of NUI Maynooth and Professor Lawrence Taylor, the university’s Dean of International Education.

The group toured both the Bethlehem University campus and the town of Bethlehem, and took in some sessions at the second annual Christian-Muslim Conference, hosted by Bethlehem University.

They said they are excited about the many ways in which Bethlehem University and NUI Maynooth might work together in future.

Bethlehem University’s Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Irene Hazou, said it was the first visit by an Irish university to explore possible areas of cooperation.

“We have found that we share many common interests and similar concerns,” she said. “Hence the possibilities for cooperation are great.”

Dr. Irene, who visited Ireland last year for the inauguration of The Friends of Bethlehem University in Ireland, said the areas of peace studies, conflict resolution and human rights will be focal to collaboration between Maynooth and Bethlehem.

She noted that other opportunities might include teaching and learning development with University College of Dublin, leadership training with NUI Maynooth and links with Bethlehem University’s Right to Education Campaign.

Despite the ongoing Israeli military occupation, Bethlehem University continues to support Palestinian students as they struggle to realize their basic human rights and overcome the many obstacles to their education. Professor Hughes and Dr. Kelly agreed that access to education is vital and both pledged greater Irish support in this area.

As well, Dr. Irene said two projects have already begun. The Ireland Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD) and the Committee for Students with Special Needs are currently in discussion, and the chair of the committee, Ms. May Jaber, along with Ms. Nabila Daqqaq, will attend the AHEAD 20th annual conference. Also, Dr. Norma Masrieh, chair of social sciences, will soon visit Dublin to explore links with Dublin City University in the area of media and social sciences.

Bethlehem University offers thanks to its Irish friends for their ongoing support and especially to the Bethlehem University Irish Foundation for supporting these visits.