Al-Quds University’s Bard College Starts Online Classes for Refugees

Students at Al-Quds University holding interactive discussion. (Photo courtesy of Al-Quds University)Jerusalem, MINA – Students from Al-Quds Bard College (AQB), an Abu-Dis-based program of partnership between Al-Quds University (AQU) and Bard College, are partaking in the new educational endeavor of blended learning, an Al-Quds University press release said on Saturday.

AQB students study with their professors in Abu Dis classrooms while connecting to a mirror classroom in Jordan where refugee students are taking the same course. Last week, AQB students and their professors traveled to Jordan to intensively work face-to-face with their peers on course content and group projects.

AQB is offering two interdisciplinary courses in this blended format to Amman-based refugees. Taught by two professors, each team takes one course in Computer Science and Human Rights, and another in Literature and History, Wafa News Agency reported.

These courses are part of a pilot project launched by Bard College in New York. The project is funded by the Open Society Foundation which grants refugee students college credits upon completing the courses. A third course is offered at Bard College Berlin to Germany-based refugee students.

This new initiative offers AQB students a rare opportunity to engage with peers who have undergone the life-changing experience of displacement, said the press statement.

Through Bard College’s writing-based pedagogy, AQB and refugee students work in virtually connected groups to handle complicated texts, explore their personal connection to ideas, and participate in debate and exchange.

“I am pleased that AQU is taking a leadership role in exploring ways of providing new opportunities to students who have experienced interrupted-education,” said president of Al-Quds University Imad Abu Kishek. “Al-Quds University students are lucky to see the world and ongoing conflicts differently, through discussions with their peers over complex writings and ideas,” he added.

Al-Quds University is a collegiate research based in Jerusalem, Palestine. Established in the late 1970’s, Al-Quds remains the only Arab university in the city of Jerusalem. It currently offers 105 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, taught through its 15 degree-granting faculties and institutes.(R/R04/RS5)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)