Stavanger and Nablus have been twin towns since 1996. UiS and An-Najah National University have cooperated since 2006, and established an Erasmus+ exchange agreement in 2015.
Over the last two years we have established a robust partnership for exchange of students and staff. In 2016 we received our first student, and this year we have received 6 students from An-Najah. The students are enrolled in Drama and Intercultural Communication, which is an English taught course welcoming students from a number of international exchange partner institutions.
The group visit in late April was organized as staff training for academic and administrative staff. The participants were: Dr. Muna Shaath (Professor of psycohlogy), Dr. Ekremah Shehab (Head of the English language and literature department), Dr. Alia Assali (Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences and Teacher Training), Fatma Sakhel and Ziad Awad (project administration), Imad Salous (Chief of warehouses), Sa'ed Ghazal (procurement officer), Manar Shalabi (Language Centre officer).
The academic group had meetings with academic leaders at the Department of Education and Sports Science as well as the Faculty of Arts and Education. The administrative group was particularly pleased to be able to discuss and exchange experiences with project and financial administration with the Division of Financial Management.
The dialogue with the faculty management created some interesting ideas for further development and follow up. The Dean of Educational Sciences and Teacher Training, dr. Alia Assali, in particular welcomed the interest in developing drama as a teaching tool across study programmes in Nablus, and presented some proposals for project collaboration for capacity building in a long tem perspective.
During the visit, the Nablus Society of Stavanger offered several trips and social networking opportunities for the group and UiS representatives, and the Deputy Mayor of Stavanger offered a wonderful reception in Stavanger on Thursday evening.
Text: Trym N. Holbek
Photo: Maria Gilje Torheim