An-Najah National University
|An-Najah National University|
|President||Prof. Rami Hamdallah|
|Location||Nablus, West Bank, Palestine|
An-Najah National University (Arabic: جامعة النجاح الوطنية) is a Palestinian non-governmental public university governed by a board of Trustees. It is located in Nablus, in the northern West Bank. The university has over 22,000 students and 300 professors in 19 faculties. It is the largest Palestinian university.
An-Najah National University: Educating for a Palestinian Future; Transmitting Palestinian Heritage. An-Najah National University is a vibrant hub of learning which nourishes science, knowledge and understanding. Since it was chartered as a full-fledged university in 1977, An-Najah has promoted the acquisition of modern knowledge whilst also remaining committed to the transmission and preservation of Palestinian history, heritage and culture. Today it is the largest university in the West Bank. Since its establishment, An-Najah has been on a continuous path of development as it strives to offer the best educational experience for its students. As new academic majors such as agricultural sciences, medical analyses and fine arts were introduced, student enrollment increased. Additionally, further development of University facilities and equipment included improvements in the University's academic, administrative, and human resources departments, as well as enlargement of its library holdings and enhancement of its laboratory equipment. The University has retained some of the highest caliber faculty in Palestine to share their expertise and enthusiasm with students. In addition to recruiting excellent faculty, An-Najah is committed to encouraging continued learning and professional development among all of its staff members.
- Notable dates in An-Najah's history:
1918: An-Najah was established as a primary school - An-Najah Nabulsi School - educating students from Palestine and abroad.
1941: The institution was named “An-Najah College”
1965: An-Najah became a teacher preparation institute, also granting intermediate university degrees in various fields of study.
1977: An-Najah evolved into a full-fledged university, “An-Najah National University,” with a Faculty of Arts and a Faculty of Sciences and joined the Association of Arab Universities (AARU) as a full member.
1978: The faculties of Economics, Administrative Sciences, Educational Sciences and Engineering were inaugurated.
1981: The first Master Degree Program was established in curricula management at the Faculty of Educational Sciences and An-Najah was accepted as a member in the World Union of Universities.
1985: The University expanded the scope of higher studies to include new fields including Chemistry, Islamic Studies and Education.
1994: The Faculty of Pharmacy was established; new faculties and specialized scientific centers were introduced, including the Academic Program for the Study of Involuntary Migration (APSIM); the Water and Environmental Studies Institute; the Center for Studies, Consultation and Technical Services; and the Business and Technology Incubator.
1995: The Faculty of Law was established.
1997: The University signed an agreement with the Director-General of the UNESCO to establish the UNESCO Chair on Human Rights and Democracy. In the same year, the University launched the Arabic for Non-Native Speakers Program.
1998: The Board of Trustees decided to establish the Center for Urban and Regional Planning (CURP).
1999: The Faculty of Medicine was established in cooperation with Al-Quds and Al-Azhar universities. In the same year, the Community Service Center was also established serving the local community.
2000: On June 25 2000, Yasser Arafat laid the foundation stone for Munib Masri’s College for Engineering and Technology at the New Campus. In the same year, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and a number of scientific majors including Computer Engineering, Statistics, and Economy and Agricultural Development were established.
2001: The University established the Faculty of Information Technology. Construction of the Hisham Hijjawi College of Technology was completed and the College welcomed its first students in October.
2003: The University launched the “Voice of An-Najah” radio station helping to strengthen ties with the local community and to provide reliable information. The Opinion Polls and Survey Studies Center, the Continuing Education Center (CEC) and the Measurement and Evaluation Center (MEC) were also established with the aim of enhancing scientific research.
2004: The Faculty of Optometry and the Faculty of Nursing were established
- The University established Al-Qasem Palace in Beit Wazan to serve as a Center for Urban and Regional Planning.
- The University established the Faculty of Honors and a Unit for Architectural Conservation and Reconstruction.
- The University launched the An-Najah Award for Scientific Research in the field of science and humanities.
- The University established two new scientific masters programs: Animal Husbandry and Clean Energy and Consumption Rationalization.
- The Institute of Forensic Medicine was established as a branch of the Faculty of Medicine.
- The An-Najah Alumni Association was established
- His Excellency, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority inaugurated the University’s New Campus in a ceremony that honored the University’s first students. President Abbas was presented with an Honorary Doctorate in Law.
- The University was awarded the Hisham Adib Hijjawi Award in Energy and Industry for the ninth time.
2007: The University inaugurated:
- The Languages Center.
- The Computer Lab for the Visually-Impaired.
- The Dental Clinic.
- The Prosthetics Clinic on the Old Campus.
- The Korean-Palestinian IT Institute of Excellence
- The Eye Clinic of the Faculty of Optometry.
- The Faculty of Medicine was accredited as an independent faculty by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
- The University acquired the hospitals of Al-Zakat Committee in Nablus. The hospital buildings will be developed into a teaching hospital for students of medicine and nursing; the hospital will serve the entire northern West Bank region in cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
- The University’s mosque was inaugurated in August 2008.
- The University’s Sports Complex was inaugurated at the New Campus in November 2008.
Most of the students are Palestinian, but there are also students and professors from all over the world. A variety of languages are spoken on campus, including Arabic, Hebrew, English, French, and Spanish.
The university president is Professor Dr. Rami Hamdallah. The Vice-President for Academic Affairs is Professor Dr. Maher Natsheh and the Vice-President for Administration Affairs is Dr. Shaker AlBitar.
Ansam Sawalha, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, is the first Palestinian woman named to the Women in Science Hall of Fame in 2011. Sawalha was honored for her achievement of establishing the first Poison Control and Drug Information Center in Palestine in 2006.  
Political conflicts regarding faculty
In 2010 six members of the faculty including Ghassan Khaled were arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces for being closely linked to a charity that is suspected of being a front for Hamas. In 2011, Abdel Sattar Qassem, a professor of political science at the university and critic of the Palestinian leadership was arrested by the Palestinian Authority following a complaint by the university president that Qassem had written an article critical of the university administration for refusing to comply with a court order rescinding its decision to expel four students. Qassem had been targeted in the past by Palestinian security forces, and was at one point shot and wounded.
The University has sixteen Scientific Faculties and Humanities Faculties. An-Najah offers undergraduate instruction in the fields of Medicine, Engineering, Humanities, Social Sciences and the Natural Sciences, as well as numerous courses of graduate study in Humanities and the Social Sciences.
- The Scientific Faculties include:
- The Humanities Faculties include:
Cooperation and Foreign Exchange
The university of An-Najah has several partner universities. These account with their exchange students for a significant part of the foreign students at An-Najah. Another number of foreign students are drawn to An-Najah for the courses in Arabic for foreigners offered by the university.
There are twinning between An-Najah National University and several British student unions:
- University of Essex Students' Union; since 1991
- University of Manchester Students' Union; since 2006, in spite of substantial opposition. A very wide campaign was held in 2007 to either cancel the twinning, or have the An-Najah Union sign a declaration denouncing terrorism, but the campaign was heavily defeated when it came to a vote.
- London School of Economics students' union.
- Fachhochschule Darmstadt (University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt), Darmstadt, Germany
- McGill University Middle East Program (MMEP) in Civil Society and Peace Building. Each year, 2500 of An-Najah's undergraduate students participate in volunteer programs run through the MMEP's Community Service Centre in Nablus.
West Bank affiliated institutes
- "Dr. Ansam Sawalha, the First Palestinian Scientist in the Women in Science Hall of Fame". An-Najah National University. 2011-05-08. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- "Women in Science Hall of Fame- 2011". Embassy of the United States Amman Jordan. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- "6 Faculty Members at a Palestinian University Are Arrested for Suspected Hamas Ties", Matthew Kalman, August 4, 2010, The Chronicle of Higher Education.
- UMSU Activist » Al Najah Right to Education Campaign Responds to Motion 1