Birzeit University was the first higher education institution to be established in Palestine. It provides students with the opportunity to realise their academic aspirations and encourages them to be productive citizens and active members of their community. New graduate and undergraduate programmes in information technology, engineering, sciences, social policy, economics and management are being developed to assist in meeting this objective. The university campus is being expanded so that it can meet the growing higher education needs of Palestinian society, and its various institutes and centres conduct policy-oriented research to assist in the economic, social and human development of Palestine. The university offers undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees through its eight faculties: Arts, Business and Economics, Education, Engineering and Technology, Science, Law and Public Administration, Nursing, Pharmacy and Health Professions, and Graduate Studies. In addition to its academic programmes, the university has institutes and centres that develop and support community-oriented programmes that contribute to sustainable development in Palestine. Support for the university comes from numerous Palestinian, Arab and international institutions, foundations and individuals. Such support has enabled the university to continue to grow to meet the needs of our society. The official language of instruction is Arabic, but many courses are taught in English. The university follows a semester system, with two four-month semesters beginning in the autumn and spring and a shorter two-month semester in the summer.