Al-Quds University

Not to be confused with Al-Quds Open University.
The University of Jerusalem (Al-Quds University)
جامعة القدس
Type Governmental
Established 1984
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 13,000
Postgraduates 2,000
Location Beit Hanina, Abu Dis, al-Bireh, Palestinian National Authority and West Bank

Al-Quds University (Arabic: جامعة القدس) is a Palestinian university with campuses in Jerusalem, Abu Dis, and al-Bireh. It was founded in 1984, but its official constitution was written in 1993 when Mohammed Nusseibeh, its first chancellor and chancellor of the College of Science and Technology, announced its formation.


Faculty of Science & Technology
Al-Quds University from the east
AQU campus and the Israeli West Bank barrier, 2013

The idea of establishing an institution of higher learning in the outskirts of Jerusalem was conceived early in 1957, when a Board of Trustees was formed in Kuwait. The board elected an Executive Committee entrusted with bringing the project into being. The committee entrusted Rouhi al-Khatib, the mayor of East Jerusalem, with the task of assisting the Executive Committee in its endeavors and to initiate construction work, which began in 1965. Work on the site was interrupted by the outbreak of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Nevertheless, a sizable section of the buildings on the campus was completed later and used as a primary and secondary school, servicing mostly Palestinian orphans. In October 1979, the College of Science was established but was forced to close down by Israeli military order. It was reopened in October 1981, as a College of Science and Technology.

Its founding constituent colleges included the colleges of Science and Technology, Paramedical Sciences, Arts and Religious Studies. Its School of Medicine, associated with the city's Maqasid hospital, was the first college to be founded directly under the banner of Al-Quds in 1993 and is the first Palestinian medical school.

Al-Quds is governed by a Board of Trustees. The founding board was headed by Mohammed Nusseibeh and included Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Ikrema Sabri, Adnan al-Husayni, Saeb Erekat, and others as members. The first president, Hatem Husseini, was followed by the current acting president, Sari Nusseibeh.

The university provides higher education and community services in the Jerusalem area and to the neighboring towns, villages and refugee camps in the West Bank. It has 10 academic faculties on four campuses: Arts, Science and Technology, Medicine, Dentistry, Public Health, Law, Qur'an and Islamic Studies, Health Professions, Engineering, and Jurisprudence. These faculties accommodate more than 6,000 students from the Jerusalem area and from the districts of Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Jericho, Nablus, Ramallah, Tulkarem, and Qalqilia. The university maintains two Jerusalem campuses and administrative offices in the American Colony and in Beit Hanina. Since the Second Intifada many classes have been moved to Abu Dis. Other campuses operate in al-Bireh next to Ramallah and Tubas.

On October 1, 2003 a campaign was launched protesting the planned route of the Israel separation barrier, which was to have cut through the university campus. Israel changed the route of the barrier after pressure from the United States and meetings with the university’s lawyers.[1]


Brandeis University

Faculty of Science & Technology and SKITCE

Brandeis University and Al Quds enjoyed sister institution status between 1998, when Jehuda Reinharz of Brandeis and Sari Nusseibeh formalized the ´Brandeis-Al-Quds Partnership´, and 2013. Cooperation and institution building was intended to be a fundamental part of this partnership. In 2008 and 2009 Brandeis and Al Quds students met in Istanbul as part of the Brandeis-Al-Quds Summer Institute to discuss the theoretical concept of a ´good society´ through literature, political documents, and travel journals. In May 2009, a Brandeis delegation of four undergraduates and eight faculty members visited Al Quds University to strengthen the partnership and explore future cooperation.

The relationship was ended in 2013 following a Nazi-themed demonstration at Al Quds by Islamic Jihad and a widely criticized response from the Al Quds University administration.[2][3]

Bard College

In February 2009, Bard College announced the first dual degree program between a Palestinian university and an American institution of higher education. The college entered into a collaboration with Al-Quds University involving an honors college, a masters program in teaching and a model high school.[4]

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Al-Quds University.


  1. Jerusalem Quarterly Jerusalem Chronology (October–January 2004)
  2. "Brandeis University suspends its partnership with Al-Quds University effective immediately". Brandeis Now. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  3. "Brandeis Now" (PDF). Brandeis Now. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  4. Palestinian Campus Looks to East Bank (of Hudson), New York Times, February 14, 2009

External links

Coordinates: 31°45′21.27″N 35°15′40.97″E / 31.7559083°N 35.2613806°E / 31.7559083; 35.2613806

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