University of Haifa
The University of Haifa was founded in 1963 and is located on Mount Carmel in Haifa. There are over 18,000 students enrolled at the University of Haifa, and they come from a wide range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. The University has established itself as a “Multiversity” – a multi-campus institution that promotes extensive interdisciplinary studies and partnerships. The Multiversity is designed to improve access to higher education in the North of the country and, with the creation of new campuses, to expand the University’s reach to the general population, and particularly the Arab population, with a mission to foster academic excellence in an atmosphere of tolerance and multiculturalism.
The University of Haifa has the largest percentage (41%) of Arab students among higher education institutions outside of the West Bank and Gaza. Many of these Arab students are the first people in their families to attend college, and they often come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Arabs living in Haifa and the surrounding cities and towns do not get the same resources or equal share of the national budget as the Jewish citizens. There is real poverty in the Arab communities, and there are bright young people who do not have an opportunity to pursue a university education because they are marginalized in society. The PSSF strives to support such students at the University of Haifa and provides scholarships to a select number of students every year in an effort to help them obtain a degree and provide a pathway to a brighter future.
Al-Quds University was founded in 1984 as the only Palestinian University in Jerusalem. With over 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Al-Quds University has its main campus located in Abu Dis, and an additional four more sites located in Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah, Beit Hanina, and Ramallah (Al-Bireh). It is a leading academic institution in Palestine and it ranks top in the entire Arab world in the number of peer-reviewed publications per faculty member per year. As one of the top universities in Palestine, Al-Quds University boasts 15 faculties and 26 institutes and centers, among them the first Medical School in Palestine and the first Research Center for Nanotechnology.
Al-Quds University has been continuously facing significant political, legal and military pressure from the Israeli government. It is the only university in the world surrounded by a separation wall situated around its main campus in Abu Dis. A large number of Palestinian students come from Jaffa, Akka, Haifa, Jerusalem and other cities in the West Bank to study in Al-Quds University. Given the difficulties of attending a Palestinian university in Jerusalem, they face many challenges in their pursuit of an education. The PSSF scholarships ease the burden on these students and provide them with the financial and moral support that they need and deserve.
Opening its doors in 1973, Bethlehem University is the first university founded in the West Bank. It is a Catholic co-educational institution in the Lasallian tradition whose mission is to provide quality higher education to the Palestinian people by emphasizing excellence in academic programs and the development of students in preparation for assuming leading positions in society. Although it consists mainly of Muslim students, Bethlehem University symbolizes the unity of Palestinian Christians and Muslims who work together to foster shared values, moral principles and dedication to serving the common good.
Over 3,000 students are currently enrolled at Bethlehem University in undergraduate and graduate study programs. Approximately 80% of the University’s students are female. Since its founding, the University has conferred over 18,000 degrees to its graduates, with nearly 70% being awarded to female graduates. Among these students and graduates are Palestinians who come from within and outside of the West Bank to study at the University. The PSSF provides scholarships to a select group of these female and male students who are faced with many financial difficulties in their pursuit of a university education.