On Tuesday, 45 Palestinian students graduated with bachelor’s degree and 63 with Masters Degrees from the Al Quds Bard College (AQB) – a joint U.S.-Palestinian educational partnership providing enhanced opportunities for students to study fields in the liberal arts. The U.S. government is a leading supporter of the Al Quds Bard partnership – providing more than 7 million dollars since 2009 to fund scholarships for outstanding Palestinian students and educators seeking a Master of Art in Teaching or a Bachelor of Arts.
In his commencement remarks, Consul General Donald Blome expressed his congratulations: “In the United States, we call this day your ‘commencement’ because we view it not as the end of your education, but the beginning of your journey.”
Since 2009, when AQB opened its liberal arts program, the Consulate General has provided 426 academic scholarships to Palestinian students to complete a two year Master’s program in teaching. In addition, in the last two years, USAID funded 18 Al-Quds Bard College Access Scholarships for bright, academically promising graduates of the high school level English Access Microscholarship program. Furthering higher educational opportunities in the West Bank, USAID supported the development of the Masters of Arts in Teaching program in 2009 and continues to provide scholarships to the degree program to further refine teachers skills.
AQB represents one pillar of American support for Palestinian students. In addition, the United States government supports the largest ACCESS English language program in the world, works to open opportunities for Palestinian girls and women in the sciences, provides the funds to keep hundreds of UNRWA schools for Palestinian refugees open, and is investing more than 77 million dollars in ongoing education assistance programs through USAID.