In 1975, the urgent need of the Palestinians for higher education in accordance with their demographic, social and economic situation under the Israeli occupation generated the idea of establishing a university that would meet the needs of the local community.

The Establishment of the University: A Historical Background

Al-Quds Open University is an administratively, academically and financially independent public University. In 1975, the urgent need of the Palestinians for higher education in accordance with their demographic, social and economic situation under the Israeli occupation generated the idea of establishing a university that would meet the needs of the local community. Consequently, upon the request of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, UNESCO conducted a feasibility study in 1980 to initiate the project. The study was later approved by UNESCO General Conference and later by the Palestinian National Council in 1981, but the execution of the project was delayed until 1985 due to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

In 1985, a temporary headquarter in Amman was founded with the approval of the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1985 till 1991, the efforts were focused on preparing comprehensive study plans for different academic specializations, faculties, and the production of educational materials such as textbooks and teaching aids (mainly audio and visual ones).

In 1991, the university commenced its educational services, establishing a new headquarter in Jerusalem, and gradually introducing branches in major Palestinian cities. The number of enrolled students began with hundreds, and annually increased to reach 56,000 students by the end of the first semester of the Academic Year 2016/2017. The first graduates of the University received their certificates in 1997.

The University faced two major challenging events while laying its foundation. The first one was the first Intifada (civil uprising) which erupted in 1987 against the Israeli occupation. The Second challenge was the First Gulf War and its destructive economic and political consequences on the Palestinian society. Nevertheless, the University continued to adhere to its principles and mission, inspired by the strong will and efforts of its previous leaders, to ensure that the University will always remain a vital source of educational enlightenment.

The University sought and is still seeking to spread open learning and E-learning in particular, not only in Palestine, but also in the entire Arab world to access larger number of beneficiaries, students, trainees, and those seeking knowledge and education. The University is keen on promoting freedom of thought, opinion, creativity, innovation and excellence.

Vision

Achieving leadership, excellence and innovation in the field of open learning, community service, and scientific research, in addition to reinforcing its leading role in establishing a Palestinian society built on knowledge and science.

Mission

To prepare qualified graduates equipped with competencies that enable them to address the needs of their community, and compete in both local and regional labor markets. Furthermore, to encourage their innovative contribution in scientific research and human and technical capacity-building through providing students with educational and training programs in accordance with the best practices of open and blended learning approach, as well as through fostering an educational environment that promotes scientific research in accordance with the latest standards of quality and excellence, and within a framework of exchange and co-operation with community institutions and experts.

Core Values
  • Leadership and excellence.
  • Patriotism and nationalism.
  • Democracy in Education and equal opportunities.
  • Academic and intellectual freedom.
  • Commitment to regulations and bylaws.
  • Partnership with the community
  • Participative management.
  • Enforcing the pioneer role of women.
  • Integrity and Transparency.
  • Competitiveness.
Strategic Goals
  • Continuous development of the graduates’ qualifications, and enhancement of their competitiveness in both local and regional labor market.
  • Continuous improvement of the academic and training programs to match the requirements of the labor market and its developments, in accordance with the best practices of blended learning and the latest updates of science and technology.
  • Enhancement and promotion of scientific research, innovation, and excellence, as well as support of intellectual freedom.
  • Enhancement of cooperation and interaction with the community, and reinforcement of the social responsibility within the University operations.
  • Diversification, improvement and increase of the university’s financial resources, and the reinforcement of the efficiency and effectiveness of its financial management.
  • Progressive improvement of the blended learning environment and the offered services for the students, to achieve high quality in teaching and learning.
  • Progressive enhancement of the quantity and quality of academic and technical services to improve the process of teaching and learning.
  • Fostering of an environment that promotes quality and excellence while building capacities of leadership and management at all units of the University.