DAAD concerned about the situation in Gaza - young people are losing prospects for the future

Conflict in the Middle East

Following discussions with partners in the Middle East and scholarship holders of Palestinian origin, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is concerned about the situation of the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in the Gaza Strip. The current conflict is threatening the educational prospects and future opportunities of an entire generation of young people from the Palestinian territories. 

"In recent weeks, we have observed how the burden on the civilian population in the Gaza Strip has continued to increase due to Israeli self-defence measures in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attack on 7 October 2023. The universities have been destroyed and the education system has largely collapsed. After talking to DAAD scholarship holders from the Palestinian territories, we are deeply concerned about the lives and well-being of their relatives on the ground," said Prof Dr Joybrato Mukherjee, President of the DAAD.

"Humanitarian logic" also with a view to educational opportunities 

"During his most recent visit to Israel a few days ago, Federal Chancellor Scholz emphasised the importance of a 'humanitarian logic' in dealing with the Palestinian civilian population. In this sense, it must also be our task to help ensure that an entire generation of young people from the Palestinian territories does not lose all educational prospects and future opportunities," said the DAAD President.

University cooperation and other measures

In the DAAD's view, special efforts should be made in the current situation to revitalise academic exchange with the Palestinian territories. Following consultation with the German government, the DAAD will therefore resume its support for university cooperation between Germany and universities in the West Bank, which has been suspended since October 2023. Regular exchanges are to take place with DAAD scholarship holders and alumni of Palestinian origin in Germany.

DAAD is also currently examining how individual support for students and doctoral candidates from Gaza and the West Bank can be organised in the future; one important instrument could be scholarships for third-country stays in neighbouring countries such as Jordan or Egypt. Experience from the corona pandemic has shown that teaching and learning programmes can also be implemented online at times; here, too, all possibilities need to be explored.

"Any form of education can offer prospects - we hope that we will be able to make one or two contributions through specific programmes to open up prospects for young Palestinian citizens despite the difficult situation," said the DAAD President.

Related Topics

DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst - German Academic Exchange Service