By the Numbers

The partnership directly engaged more than 200 faculty, students and administrators from both universities, and countless more attended workshops, meetings and events.

More than 25 exchange visits occurred in each direction, producing more than 15 reports, curriculum guides, workshops and collaborative resources.

About the Partnership

discussion on teaching

Between 2003 and 2013 Al-Quds University and Brandeis University were engaged in a unique intercultural partnership that linked an Arab institution in Jerusalem and a Jewish-sponsored institution in the United States in an exchange designed to build a Palestinian civic institution, provide education opportunities for students, faculty and staff, and foster cultural understanding.

The Al-Quds/Brandeis relationship had three holistic goals:

  • improve the administrative and infrastructure capacities at Al-Quds, one of Palestine's nascent civic institutions;
  • strengthen academics and offer opportunities for faculty, staff and students at both institutions;
  • educate the campuses about the advantages of cooperation, goodwill and understanding.

The multi-year partnership was supported in its early phases by nearly $1 million in funding from the Ford Foundation. The project had its roots in a week-long visit by Al-Quds President Sari Nusseibeh to Brandeis in 1997. After an initial planning phase, projects included administrative exchanges, academic exchanges and partnership documentation.

The administrative exchanges were designed to strengthen the Al-Quds infrastructure, focus on administration and finance, teaching and evaluation, and communications. In one example of an administrative exchange, Imad Abu Kishek, vice president for administrative and financial affairs at Al-Quds University, spent two years at Brandeis to develop a strategic plan for Al-Quds. Abu Kishek is now in the process of implementing the strategic plan.

The academic exchanges allowed faculty to conduct joint research projects and conferences and offer students the chance to join together and visit the other institution. One focus was on effective teaching, faculty mentoring and faculty development — particularly for women faculty and leaders at Al-Quds. A number of workshops were developed on assessment, pedagogy and active learning. Al-Quds created their first Committee for the Support of Teaching.

As part of the academic exchange portion of the partnership, Brandeis hosted four second-year master’s students from the American studies program at Al-Quds University for two weeks in March 2006. In addition, eight Brandeis undergraduates joined with seven Al-Quds students for a Summer Institute in Turkey for 10 days in August 2007. A second Summer Institute in Turkey took place in August 2008, followed by campus visits by students in both directions in 2009.

Brandeis and Al-Quds are jointly documenting the partnership's progress and outcomes through publications, video, and still images.