U.S. Deputy Consul General Michael Hankey Congratulates Al-Quds Bard College Graduates, Emphasizes U.S. Support for Palestinian Students

JERUSALEM – On Tuesday, 44 Palestinian students graduated with bachelor’s degree and nine 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, Deputy Consul General Michael Hankey expressed his congratulations to the graduates and their families, noting:  “Education can drive creative solutions, create lasting change, and bring about a brighter future for all Palestinians.”

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, USAID funded 16 Al-Quds Bard College Access Scholarships for bright, academically promising graduates of the high school level English ACCESS Microscholarship program over the past two years.  This evening, the Deputy Consul General announced funding for an additional 10 scholarships for the 2017-2018 school year.

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 111 million dollars in ongoing education assistance programs through USAID.