عــمــادة الجــودة والتــطـويــر

الجامعة الإسلامية - غزة

Quality and Development Center

Islamic University of Gaza

Details

From Finland to Gaza, A Working Visit to Support Education

  • 05/14/2019

In visit to IUG, Representative Office of Finland in Ramallah checks out the progress of 2017-2020 FinPal Project.

Head of Development Cooperation Ms. Paula Malan has paid a working visit to the Islamic University in a view to follow up the progress of FinPal Project, which has been funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland, implemented in collaboration with Tampere University.

The main aim of this project is to improve the pedagogical competences of academic staff and teaching capacity at IUG in addition to other local universities in Gaza. "This aim has been carried out so far, and we are in the process of transferring these competences to local universities in Gaza," Prof. Nazmi clarified.

Malan's meeting with the FinPal team in IUG Presidency office on Thursday was part of a sustainable cooperation between Palestine and Finland in terms of serving the educational field. In the commencement, the director of FinPal Prof. Nazmi Almasri extended his thanks and gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the patronizing hub of the project which implemented under the umbrella of Higher Institutional Cooperation Instrument HEI ICI. Many thanks must go to the Tampere University of Finland for their dedication, punctuality, flexibility, and excellence.

"We have been working with them now for almost three years and it has been really more than perfect. We learnt a lot from our partners in Tampere and they transferred a number of skills," said Prof. Nazmi

The project has put a number of plans into practice. In the first year, detailed reports were prepared about the pedagogical competences that are available in IUG. This step has done through bilingual survey, which was disseminated over 400 academics; thus, based on the results the team in Tampere were preparing the Training programme.

The second year has witnessed the establishment of the Academic Excellence Unit, which belongs to the IUG Quality and Development Deanship, the responsible for insuring the sustainability of the project and guaranteeing the dissemination of skills acquired during this project.

 "We are planning to apply for accreditation of -Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme- to be under umbrella of the IUG Excellence Unit," said Azza AlSahhar, member in the project.

Throughout this year, the two sides have teamed up to set up an International Advisory Board which consisted of two project advisory members from Gaza and Tampere in addition to three international experts from Denmark, UK, and Palestine. The Advisory Board is on behalf of holding online seminars, discussing project issues, and promoting for skills and techniques. Furthermore, the IUG team organized an article, which has been approved for publication in the next issue in the International Journal for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Second year of the project has also encompassed the establishment of two technological platforms: the Multi-purpose Training Computer Labs and Studio Classroom. Not only that, it also included online training of 16 academic trainers from different IUG faculties to giving ground for the skills acquired during 190 training hours.

Commenting on the success of online Training of Trainers Programme, Prof. Almasri confirmed: "This was a good experience to overcome the crisis of mobility".

 Long time ago, IUG has managed to improve a good IT infrastructure that could back up the process of communication with European universities.  

"The training was the heart of the project," he inserted.

Training of Trainers has covered five modules through five intensive seminars, which lasted six months. The aftermath of the Training of Trainers programme will change the gears from being trainees to be trainers for 100 academics: 80 from IUG, 20 from other universities in Gaza as the new trainers will be developing a training material to be taught through a bilingual website. Information and pedagogies acquired during the course to be published on special Facebook page. The programme will be focusing thoroughly on the practical pedagogical practices rather than theories and basics.

The remained-ten months will be dedicated to train 100 academics, in which the teachers will be handy on August 2019. Plus, IUG-Tampere team will take part in the second joint article for the upcoming 32 Annual Conference in Germany which will be convened by the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers.

Responding on the project's achievements, Ms. Malan wondered about the coming plans of the project itself and the linkages with Palestinian universities.

"We have FULL cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education and most of Palestinian Universities, as well.  All of IUG Programs are accredited by the Ministry," said one of the Project members Prof. Bassam Saqqa.