Local SNP MSP Sandra White met up with students from the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) who are currently studying at the University of Glasgow (UoG) as part of the ERASMUS+ International Credit Mobility.
International Credit Mobility (ICM) is an Erasmus + Key Action 1 project which aims to facilitate exchange and education links between European and international partners. The ICM programme offers funded mobility opportunities for staff and postgraduate students to and from international partners.
The UoG were successful in their bids to the European Union Erasmus+ in 2017, receiving a total of €600,000 which has enabled 20 students, the biggest ever cohort, from IUG to study at UoG.
UoG also provide the EAST Project every summer which accommodates overseas engineering students with engineers from Gaza to research ways to solve the engineering problems facing Gaza due to the ongoing blockade by Israel and Egypt. Many students have worked together since the Project began in 2015.
They also offer an online Palestinian Arabic Course which was written in partnership with IUG, combining video and skype lessons, allowing trained teachers in Gaza to access paid work, which also helps overcome the employment effects caused by the ongoing blockade.
Commenting on the visit Ms White said:
“It was inspiring to meet with the students from the Islamic University of Gaza and to talk to them about the situation in Gaza. This opportunity is having a positive impact on not just their lives, with the chance to study here in Glasgow, but the knowledge they are taking home to Gaza to improve a very desperate situation.
“It is thanks to the commitment from the team at both the University of Glasgow and the Islamic University of Gaza and of course the enthusiasm and willingness to take part from the students.
“Not satisfied with offering the Erasmus+ programme the University also offers the EAST project summer course which has been running for 3 years now bringing together engineering students from Gaza and around the world to find new ways of tackling engineering problems in Gaza. And of course they have the online language course which they produced in collaboration with the Islamic University of Gaza and is taught by teachers in Gaza.
“My concern is that with Brexit the Erasmus+ programme will no longer be accessible and the opportunity for students from Gaza to come here to Glasgow to learn will be lost as well as the significant contribution their learning and collaboration brings to the people of Gaza.”