In Palestine, 50 promising students have been enrolled in four year, full-scholarship programmes. The scholarships were offered under SPARK’s new, pilot programme, Dynamic Futures in partnership with three local universities – Birzeit University, Palestine Ahliyya University and Palestine Polytechnic University. Dynamic Futures hopes to soon provide higher education opportunities to many more young people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Around 200 motivated young people initially applied for the scholarships, demonstrating a real lack of opportunity for higher education opportunities in the region. After a careful selection process, the 50 selected students were offered grants to study a range of courses, including Applied Sciences, Medical Sciences, Computer Sciences and creative fields, such as Design. By providing young adults with the tools and skills to rebuild their conflict-affected region and contribute to their communities, SPARK hopes that economic opportunity and stability with thrive. One student described the opportunity he’d received: “As my younger brother and parents often suffer illnesses, happiness rarely knocks on our door, but with this scholarship I’ve been able to bring a ray of light to my parents. We have a new hope for the future”.
Due to the unprecedented interest in the scholarships, the preparations for the next intake of students are busily underway. The main focus of the Dynamic Futures programme is to continue to help shape confident, community-minded and professionally skilled youth. The programme was initiated within SPARK’s Higher Education for Syrians project, which currently operates within Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq/KRG and Jordan, offering scholarships to Syrian refugees and vulnerable youth from the host countries.