Bethlehem University received hundreds of applications for the newly offered programs that were launched with the Fall 2020 cohort.

The Office of Academic Affairs has gained accreditations from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for a Master’s Degree in Oncology and Palliative Care, a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences, a Minor in Entrepreneurship, and a Professional Diploma in Music Therapy.

Dr. Irene Hazou, Vice President for Academic Affairs, said “Introducing these programs is essential to fulfilling a need in Palestine as the job market is constantly changing and new opportunities arise.”

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created great challenges for academics and researchers in medical fields in Palestine. Bethlehem University launched the new major in Medical Laboratory Sciences due to the need for medical lab specialists. The program will enable graduates to conduct laboratory tests at the molecular level.

Dr. Ghassan Handal, Head of the Biology Department, said that after passing the exam prepared by the Palestinian Syndicate of Laboratory Medicine, the graduates of this program will have many opportunities in several fields, including but not limited to owning a private testing laboratory.

The new Master’s Degree in Oncology and Palliative Care is the first of its kind among Palestinian Universities with a mission to improve the health status of cancer patients. 

“Being able to introduce a program that has oncology and palliative care together is probably what distinguishes our program from other local programs,” Dr. Hazou added. It was developed in collaboration with international universities with special help from the United Kingdom. The new Cardinal Foley Hall, which will house the Tareq Juffali Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, is another opportunity to introduce new nursing programs with innovative approaches to teaching and learning. 

This has also been made possible with the help of our friends and donors especially The Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust and the Association Bethlehem University (ABU) in Switzerland who are funding the Master’s Degree through scholarships and expenses.

Another program that was accredited is the entrepreneurship program. It is unique because it blends the traditional business education model with practical and real-world experiences. 

“We want to be leaders in this field to create leaders in the society, and we want to qualify students with an entrepreneurial mindset,” Dr. Hazou said. “It is designed to change their mentality from thinking of how I am going to be employed to how I am going to be an employer.”

The new Professional Diploma in Music Therapy, taught through the Institute for Community Partnership, aims to train and develop the skills of the participants allowing them to treat patients by teaching them how to play an instrument. 

Bethlehem University is grateful to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, especially the Accreditation and quality assurance commission (AQAC) for their support in accrediting the new programs.

This is an updated version of an article that appeared in the Bethlehem University magazine of Spring 2020 (Volume 27 – Issue no. 2) Click here for the latest issue.