Palestine has over twenty institutions which provide tertiary education in the form of 11 universities and 11 technical colleges. Out of the 11 universities (Al-Jamiah), 10 are private and one is public. All of them offer four-year bachelor courses and some offer higher degrees as well. Demand for tertiary education in Palestine has increased three-fold from 1995 to 2006. Further, universities are now taking strong steps in the direction of inter-university collaboration and using resources from organizations like UNESCO and the UNDP to increase the quality education being provided.
Degree offerings by universities in the country follow the familiar structure of a Bachelor’s followed by a Master’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees last for four years whereas Master’s degrees last for two years. However, a Bachelor’s in Stomatology, Engineering or Pharmacy lasts 5 years and one in medicine lasts 6 years. The language of instruction for most programs is Arabic. Enrollment into most Higher Education Institutions requires students to, at minimum, possess a General Secondary Education Certificate (Tawjihi) or its equivalent IB, GCE or SAT certificates. A student can only pursue a degree in the same stream she took in high school. A Tawjihi (or equivalent) in the science stream allows students to access degrees in science but not in arts. Further, the minimum score to enter a particular faculty differs among universities and changes from year to year.
The fees for most universities in Palestine is close to 2040 pounds per semester. It is important to note that some universities charge students a fee per course and therefore, costs vary depending on the number of courses taken.