The Palestinian Minister of Education and Higher Education and the Head of the German Representative Office in Palestine Visit the Dual Studies Programme
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H. E. Dr. Sabri Saidam, Minister of Education and Higher Education, and H. E. Mr. Peter Beerwerth, Head of the Representative Office of Germany in Palestine, visited ASAL Technology Co., one of the Dual Studies partner companies in Ramallah, on Thursday 22 September, 2016. Both guests were accompanied with the Prof. Dr. Imad Abu Kishek, President of Al-Quds University, Dr. Rachel Folz, Deputy Head of Development Cooperation at the Representative Office of Germany, Mr. Murad Tahboub, Managing Director of ASAL, Mr. Andreas Adrian, Head of the GIZ More Job Opportunities for Palestinian Youth Program and TEP Program, Mr. Omar Dhaher, Acting Dean of Dual Studies at AQU, Ms. Kirsten Freimann, Head of the GIZ Dual study Component and representatives from ASAL, Al Quds University, GIZ, GFA and Dual Studies -partner companies.
The visit comes as part of promoting and introducing the Dual Studies Programme which is the first of its kind in the country and sub-region which is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) and being implemented by KFW and GIZ. During the visit, Dr. Sabri Saidam and Mr. Peter Beerwerth had the chance to join a tour at ASAL Technology where they visited the work place of the Dual Studies-Students and listened to a brief presentation about the partnership between Al-Quds University and ASAL Technology as well as the training opportunities that are offered to the DS-Students as part of the Dual Studies Programme.
After the tour, the visiting group gathered for a brief discussion which was opened by a welcome speech by Mr. Murad Tahboub, followed by a general overview of the Dual Studies Programme at Al-Quds University by Mr. Omar Dhaher. In his intervention Dr. Sabri Saidam stated that “we are not only here to celebrate and enjoy this experience but to maximize it, the partnership between Al Quds University and Asal is a real example of what is needed to improve the higher education system through offering the practical training besides the academic education” he added “I’m very grateful to the German Government and the GIZ for believing in and supporting the Palestinian people capacities and talents.” 
Mr. Peter Beerwerth emphasized that “Germany is very proud to support Al-Quds University in setting-up a Dual Studies program through KfW and with GIZ”, added that “the cooperation between Al-Quds University and private sector companies is the key component in this approach which aims at tackling one of the most pressing issues in the Palestinian Territories – the unemployment of Palestinian Youth”. Mr. Beerwerth concluded his intervention saying that: “Students do not just acquire academic knowledge but practical experience, that combination of skills makes them 100% ready for the labor market.”
The Dual Studies Programme at Al-Quds University offers an innovative approach to Palestinian higher education, combining academic studies with on-the-job training under real life conditions in private companies, aiming at tackling the youth unemployment in Palestine which is, according to the latest studies, close to 40% amongst youth and it is as high as 60% among university graduates.
Initially, three subjects were launched at the new Dual Study Faculty: electrical engineering, business administration and information technology (IT).  Currently, 80 Palestinian private partner business have already signed up to the programme, and 138 students are currently enrolled in the programme of which 57 are female beneficiaries. The programme plans to prepare at least 300 students for successful careers, around one-quarter of whom will be young women.
For more information about the Dual Studies Programme:
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