Palestinian academics improve their pedagogical competence through FinPal training at IUG

The local FinPal pedagogical training named “Excellence in Higher Education Skills” was organised 3 Aug – 7 Nov 2019 at IUG. Developed on the basis of the six-month FinPal Training of Trainers programme (Aug 2018 – Jan 2019), the training “Excellence in Higher Education Skills” was organised locally in Gaza by the IUG’s Academic Excellence Unit in cooperation with Academic Affairs and the Quality and Development Deanship in IUG. A team of nine trainers who completed the FinPal Training of Trainers designed and delivered the training programme with the support of the FinPal project team. 76 Palestinian academics working in different academic disciplines across the seven universities and colleges in Gaza Strip participated in the pedagogical training.

The 60-hour training programme covered four main themes: (1) Student learning and engagement, (2) Designing learning processes and environments, (3) Special features of teaching in university, (4) Expertise in academic teaching in higher education. The programme included intensive contact sessions, lively discussions, individual and group assignments. The academics who successfully completed the pedagogical programme will receive a certificate awarded jointly by the Islamic University of Gaza and Tampere University.

In their generally positive feedback, the participants emphasised that the programme was very well planned and implemented by the FinPal trainers and the IUG project team. The training gave the participants an opportunity to learn from each other and share the best practices with their colleagues in different disciplines and career stages. The lively discussions about the pedagogical practices in higher education were seen as the main strength of the programme that enriched the participants’ knowledge and skills related to academic teaching.

The pedagogical development at IUG continues with the new round of 60-hour FinPal training for a new group of Palestinian academics. Minor modifications will be made in the next round of the training based on the experiences and feedback received from the trainees and the trainers during and after the training programme. The training will start on 11 January 2020.

The IUG’s Academic Excellence Unit aims to enhance the quality of teaching and learning practices primarily at IUG but also through cooperation with other higher education institutions in Gaza Strip. Therefore approximately one-fifth of the spots in the new round of the training will be reserved for academics coming from other universities and colleges in Gaza Strip.

The eTraining FinPal project team would like to extend their gratitude to all IUG and TAU staff members who were involved with the training programme – your efforts and enthusiasm enabled the successful implementation of the training.

Video: Training programme “Excellence in Higher Education Skills” (3 Aug – 7 Nov 2019)