A delegation from the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem paid a fruitful networking visit to Al-Aqsa University on June 09, 2021, which evidenced the interest of cooperation to increase ties with the university. The delegation included Mr. Guillaume Robert the Counselor for Cultural Affairs and Ms. Anne Laure Mercier, the University and Institutional Cooperation Attaché, and Mr. Pierre Chevalier, the Director of French Institute of Gaza.
As part of its visit program, the delegation was greeted by Prof. Ayman Sobh, the acting president of the University, at his office in the presence of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean of International Relations, the Dean of Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, and the Head of the French Department. Prof. Sobh gave an informative presentation about the university and its faculties and administrations. " The university is in a constant process of development in all fields including education, research and innovation and building of facilities. He said.
In the term of cooperation with the government of France, Prof. Sobh expressed his great gratitude to the French government for its ever support towards the Palestinian people especially in the field of academia and cultural cooperation.
The main objective of this visit was to explore further fields of cooperation and strengthen the ties between universities in France and Al-Aqsa University. In this respect, Prof. Sobh added "In the field of internationalization, we have considerable partnerships with universities in the EU and we are looking for expanding our network of cooperation especially with universities in France".
For his part, Mr. Guillaume Robert expressed his sincere thanks to the president of Al-Aqsa University and the present staff. He emphasized the cooperation with Al-Aqsa University and was willing to offer scholarships for students and expand the cooperation with the university in the academic and cultural fields.
Ms. Anne Laure, provided a good background about the French universities and the mechanism of networking and cooperation with universities in France. She was so interested in linking Al-Aqsa university with French universities and will spare no effort to facilitate the process of networking in order to link both students and staff of Al-Aqsa university with universities in France through joint projects such as ICM within Erasmus+ program.
Dr. Nabil El Aila, the Dean of International Relations explained "Every year for the past 4 years, Al-Aqsa University has new cooperation with universities in EU within the framework of Erasmus+. We have more than 10 ICM projects and 3 partnerships in CBHE projects with EU universities. This kind of projects pave the road for our students and staff and gave our students fully-funded opportunities to study in EU universities for one semester as exchange students, and opened the horizons for our staff to expand their network of scientific research through teaching mobility scholarships within Erasmus+ program for staff exchange". "This year we are interested that the cooperation taking place in France, and make partnerships with French Universities". He added.
Beyond exchanges focusing on academic and scientific collaboration, the delegation met with staff and students of the Department of French Language and discussed with them their future vision of their field of study and their attitudes towards studying in French universities.
At the end of their visit, the members of the delegation explored the main building of laboratories and visited the laboratories of physics, biology, and nursing.
It is worth to be mentioned that the Consulate of France in Jerusalem and the French Institute of Gaza both have strong cooperation with Al-Aqsa university and there are many interesting exchanges between them, as they have organized many events and study days at Al-Aqsa university in cooperation with the Department of French language.