Staffordshire University students union twins with Palestine Polytechnic (Hebron).

Text of motion passed in April 2007



  1. That Palestine Polytechnic University (Hebron) has a Youth Exchange Programme.
  2. That the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees equal rights, for all, including the promise that ‘Everyone has the right to education’ (Article 26). That the status of the Palestinian territories (including West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem) is described in International Law as “Occupied territories”, and that the Fourth Geneva Convention, 1949 states that “The occupying power shall, with the cooperation of the national and local authorities, facilitate the proper working of all institutions devoted to the care and education of children”. (Article 50)
  3. That over one third of the Palestinian population are students in full-time school or University education. That the 700 IDF roadblocks and other military obstacles frequently prevent students from being able to attend University.
  4. That Birzeit University has been closed down by Israeli military order 15 times in its history; and that all the Palestinian Universities and the majority of schools, including kindergartens, were closed down by military order between the years 1988-1992, when Palestinian education was effectively made ‘illegal’ by the Israeli occupation, denying a whole generation their right to education.
  5. That Hebron University and the Palestine Polytechnic University in Hebron were closed down by Israeli military order for much of 2003; and that the students of Hebron had to physically break down the gates to their Universities, in defiance of the Israeli Army, to reconvene classes and demand their right to an education.
  6. That students from Gaza are banned from reaching the 8 Palestinian Universities in the West Bank: In 2000 there were 350 Gazan students at Birzeit University, in April 2005 there were only 35.
  7. That 362km of the projected 730km of the Israeli separation wall has been constructed, all of it on Palestinian lands, dividing, isolating and encircling Palestinian areas and Universities.
  8. That 8 out of the total 11 Universities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been shelled or broken into by the Israeli Army since September 2000.
  9. That Palestine Polytechnic University (Hebron) of the occupied city of Hebron is a central location for students from other West Bank districts such as Qalqilya, Jenin and Tulkarem.
  10. That students from Tulkarem, Qalqilya and Jenin represent 50% of the 13000 students of Al-Najah University. A lot of those students are denied access to education due to the direct impact that the Apartheid Wall has on their cities. E.g. Qalqilya is totally enclosed by the Wall.
  11. That some Palestinian students left their villages due to the harassments and delays faced on checkpoints, and are currently renting accommodation in Hebron: an extra and unnecessary burden on students.
  12. The economic impacts made students postpone their education, and in other cases some have left the University to work in order to support their families or to pay their fees. This phenomenon has increased more during the last year due to the economic blockade suffered by the Palestinians.


  1. That Youth Exchanges are one of the best ways to build links with students abroad and that the experience that this will give to both our students and students abroad is indispensable.
  2. Palestinian education has been severely hindered since the outbreak of the Second Intifada in September 2000 by blanket curfews, the presence of roadblocks and recently the erection of the Wall. The cumulative effects of these measures have put the future of many Palestinian Universities at grave risk.
  3. The measures noted above violate international law including provisions against collective punishment and guarantees for the protection of civilian populations under military occupation, students’ right to education and the fundamental rights of human beings to live in dignity and freedom.
  4. Education is critical to the healthy functioning of Palestinian society, as well as the possibility of peace and reconciliation between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. It is the responsibility of governments, civil society organisations and ordinary people to defend the universal right to education and to demand its realisation.


  1. To do everything in the power of the Union to build links with Palestine Polytechnic University (Hebron) l Youth Exchange Programme and to lobby the University to do the same.
  2. To send a letter of support and a copy of this motion to Palestine Polytechnic University (Hebron) Student Union inviting them to twin with Staffordshire University Students’ Union.
  3. To lobby the University to provide at least three scholarships for Palestinian students who wish to study at the Staffordshire University.
  4. To support the students of Birzeit “right to education campaign” and to campaign for Human Rights for all Palestinians, both within the territory of mandate Palestine and for Palestinian refugees.
  5. To raise the above concerns with colleagues in the National Union of Students and encourage NUS to support Palestinian students’ right to education.
  6. To publicise our policy of twinning with Palestine Polytechnic University (Hebron) Student Union by erecting a plaque, with the following words:

    Palestine and the Right to Education
    Staffordshire University Students Union is twinned with the Palestine Polytechnic University (Hebron) in Hebron. Students in Palestine have had their right to education consistently denied by the Israeli Occupation: checkpoints, attacks on Universities and limitations on movement seriously hinder the ability of students in Palestine to learn. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that everyone has the `right to education’: we fully support the struggle of our Palestinian brothers and sisters to realise this fundamental Human Right.

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It was last updated on 15th June 2007.