Newsletter

Bulletin: Birzeit U. Mourns Student Killed by Israeli Gunfire; TESI Initiative to Help Gaza University Students

Life After Graduation: Navigating the First Day

How can we safely get through the exam period? What steps lead to achieving top grades? These are pressing concerns for students about to finish their university studies. Do they also ponder what the first day after graduation will be like?

Rest and leisure activities like beach outings, parties, music, movies, and travel are often the first things on students’ minds after graduation. But seriously, what are your plans for the day after graduation?

Without being parental, I wonder: Do you have a plan in mind? Are you looking for a job, or do you already have one lined up? Are you considering further studies, like a diploma or a master’s degree?

If you’ve been contemplating your first day after graduation, here are some tips. While university taught you fundamental principles, it’s now your chance to enhance skills beyond just job-related and specialised knowledge. Focus on developing personal skills such as critical thinking, analysis, innovation, creativity, problem-solving, negotiation, and teamwork.

I understand that working in a team might bring up feelings of tension, especially if you struggle with social anxiety or have had challenging experiences like the dynamics in your graduation project. However, in the professional world, working collaboratively is often unavoidable, even in remote settings.

Ideally, students will start thinking about life after graduation in their third or second year of university. If you’re in your fourth year, it might feel late, but there’s still time to plan ahead.

Wishing you success in your current exams and in preparing for the future!

Mohammad El-Hawary

Al-Fanar Media editor-in-chief 

News from the Region:

Birzeit U. Mourns Student Ayser Muhammad Safi, Killed by Israeli Gunfire

Palestine’s Birzeit University is mourning the loss of Ayser Muhammad Safi, a second-year student who was tragically killed by Israeli occupation gunfire on Wednesday, 15 May.

In a statement the university said: “The Birzeit University family, including the administration, staff, and students, particularly the Faculty of Education, mourns with deep sorrow and pride our martyr, Ayser Muhammad Safi. Ayser, a second-year student in the department of physical education, was martyred today after sustaining injuries from occupation gunfire at the city’s entrance.”

Security sources told the Palestine News and Information Agency WAFA that Safi, a resident of Jalazoun camp, north of Ramallah, was pronounced dead at a hospital after being struck by Israeli bullets in the neck. The Palestinian Ministry of Education also issued a statement mourning his death.

An-Najah National U., UNIMED Launch TESI Initiative to Support Gaza Students

Palestine’s An-Najah National University, in partnership with UNIMED–Mediterranean Universities Union and the Palestinian Student Scholarship Fund, has launched the Technical Education Support for Higher Education Students Initiative (TESI) to help Gaza students complete their university studies remotely.

An inaugural online meeting showcased widespread interest in TESI, with attendees pledging resources, tools, and expertise to address the educational crisis faced by Gaza’s students. Some 300 volunteers, 12 Gaza-based higher education institutions, 20 formal partners, and over 40 others expressed interest. An assessment by An-Najah National University found that 44,000 students out of Gaza’s total 90,000 are in need.

TESI aims not just to enrol Gazan students elsewhere but to virtually host them amid the challenges impeding Gaza’s universities. For more information about TESI and how you can support the initiative, click here.

Webinar Explores Education and Tech in Gaza’s Genocide Crisis

The British Academy’s Education Research in Conflict and Crisis–Bilateral Research Chairs programme has organized a webinar titled “The Role of Education and Technology during and post Gaza’s Genocide, Epistemicide, and Educide,” which will take place on Monday, 20 May 2024, from 4 to 5 p.m. U.K. time (6 to 7 p.m. Lebanon time). ERRC–Bilateral Research Chairs is based at the Centre for Lebanese Studies at the University of Cambridge, which is hosting the webinar with the University of Ulster School of Education, in collaboration with Koya University, in Kurdistan Iraq.

Participants include Saida Affouneh, deputy president for online learning and digitalization at An Najah National University in the West Bank, Palestine, who will discuss innovative solutions to recover education in Palestine, and We’am Hamdan, a Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University, who will delve into the political economy of education technology in the context of Gaza. To register to attend the webinar, click here.

American U. of Sharjah and Korean Institute to Collaborate

The American University of Sharjah (AUS) and the prestigious Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have formed a partnership that aims to facilitate academic and research exchanges, joint publications, and funding applications. It also paves the way for student mobility through exchange programmes and collaborative degree offerings, enriching educational experiences for students from both institutions, AUS said in a statement.

The agreement sets the stage for potential long-term collaboration, including the establishment of a Global Tech Research and Innovation Center in collaboration with government entities in the United Arab Emirates, further solidifying AUS’s commitment to fostering innovation and global perspectives in academia.

Bulletin: Birzeit U. Mourns Student Killed by Israeli Gunfire; TESI Initiative to Help Gaza University Students
A photo of officials from the American University of Sharjah and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (the university).

EAA Foundation and Global Partners Discuss Future Education Financing at Qatar Economic Forum

The Qatar Economic Forum in Doha hosted a dialogue on the theme “Education: Funding the Future” organised by the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, in partnership with Bloomberg. 

Participants, who included ministers of four governments and global policy makers, focused on developing innovative and sustainable financing mechanisms for education across the world, EAA said in a statement. The dialogue explored ideas like uniting efforts and creating diverse partnerships to bridge funding gaps, the impact of public debt on social sectors, and the need for increased global investment and equity in education.

Abu Dhabi School of Management Unveils New Campus

The Abu Dhabi School of Management (ADSM), a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has inaugurated a new campus at a new location in the city’s Al Hosn area.

In a statement, Tayeb Kamali, chairman of the Board of Trustees of ADSM, said, “This isn’t just a new building; it’s a symbol of the chamber’s commitment to nurturing future leaders and shaping the future of management education in the U.A.E. For over a decade, ADSM has been a cornerstone of the chamber’s vision, developing management talent for the U.A.E.” The school was designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills required to navigate and thrive in the new digital age while fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

From Al-Fanar Media:

Tools for Detecting AI-Assisted Writing and Research 

Many smart tools that university faculty members can use for detecting AI-assisted writing and research are on the market. Al-Fanar Media looked at some of them to see how they work. Since the release of ChatGPT in November 2022, an increasing number of students have been turning to artificial intelligence-powered tools to write or assist them in writing university assignments. While some academics argue for embracing the use of AI in the classroom, others are concerned that many students will misuse AI chatbots to cheat. Read more in this article.

Opinion:

Western Universities’ Double Standards on Liberal Values, Academic Freedom

For centuries, Western countries have affiliated themselves with progressive human civilization and development, spreading liberalism and liberal values, as well as bringing their own version of democracy across the world. This notion is branded through methods of culture, politics, economics, religious freedom and more.

However, the imposition of Western concepts of liberalism and democracy has been under scrutiny for years, especially when this occurs in times of war against communities that do not necessarily choose to align themselves with such ideologies. In this essay, two scholars at Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Center argue that these events demonstrate the deterioration of freedom of speech in Western universities in line with global events.

Tips and Resources:

Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Whether you are looking for your first job out of university, or you’re already employed and want to move up to a more-responsible position, leadership skills are always near the top of the list of attributes that companies are looking for. But what are the skills that good leadership requires, and how do you demonstrate those to an employer? Find insights on those issues, plus the top 10 leadership questions you’re likely to encounter in job interviews, in this article from Wikijobs.

In Conflict:

Scholar Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian Navigates Academic Freedom Challenges in Israel

Near the areas of devastation and loss in the Gaza Strip, the Arab Israeli scholar Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian has been embroiled in a separate conflict that concerns Palestinian rights and academic freedom in Israel. Shalhoub-Kevorkian has faced consequences from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she holds appointments in law and social welfare, and from the Israeli police for her outspoken criticism of Zionism and for questioning accounts of atrocities attributed to Hamas during its attacks inside Israel on 7 October 2023. Her struggles have drawn support internationally from academic freedom advocacy groups and other institutions. Read more in this article.

Scholarships

Al-Fanar Media maintains a database of quality scholarships available to Arab students, which we continuously update. To stay up to date on the latest scholarships available in international universities, check the Scholarships section here, and watch for updated feedback on free learning opportunities in our News and Reports section, here.

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