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The HESPAL Scholarship is a joint award offered by the British Council and St Mary’s University, Twickenham, to help junior academic staff in Palestinian universities achieve an English Master’s degree in a subject that will benefit their home institution in Palestinian Territories.

HESPAL aims to help create the next generation of senior academics who can maintain international quality standards at Palestinian universities and develop renewed, sustainable links between Palestinian and UK universities.

The scheme will upgrade academic staff in Palestinian universities through a Masters or PhD Scholarship program.

How many Higher Education Scholarships (HESPAL) are available for Palestinians?

Looking ahead to the next academic year 2021/2022, we will continue to support 25 HESPAL PhD scholars from 13 different universities in the West Bank and Gaza which is a major commitment for the program.

However, we hope to support a limited number of new master’s scholarships to start in the autumn 2021 or January 2022 as funding permits. In this we will give priority to candidates shortlisted by Palestinian universities last academic year (2020/2021) and in line with the priorities of our various funding partners.  We will confirm any new awards as soon as funding commitments are finalised with our partners.

How To Apply For HESPAL Scholarship

Applicants must provide the following supporting documents to the British Council Palestine within the given deadlines:

  1. Completed three copies of HESPAL application form below (including details of two academic referees)
  2. Certified Proof of Palestinian nationality and Palestinian Territories residency
  3. Nomination letter from Palestinian university
  4. Proof of employment at university
  5. Evidence of academic and work record (Such as transcript translated into English including grades for each year of study of bachelor’s degree and certified copies of Master’s degree and degree certificates)
  6. IELTS certificate 6.5 and above
  7. Signed contract between scholar and their university declaring that they will return to Palestine to their university on completion of Master’s degree after 12 months
  8. Signed release form from scholar permitting the UK HEI to provide British Council and scholar’s home institution with reports from their academic advisor

When is the deadline for applying?

HESPAL call for application is closed now. Currently, we have 25 PhD scholars and 4 Masters in the UK.

Find out more about HESPAL’s application proccess through HESPAL Guidance Notes document by downloading the PDF below:

  1. HESPAL Application form – Masters Degree
  2. HESPAL Application form – PhD Degree
  3. HESPAL Guidance Notes

What does the scholarship cover?

The scholarship covers the following:
1. Tuition fees.
2. Arrival allowances.
3. Thesis allowances.
4. Bench fees if needed.
5. Monthly allowance to cover living expenses.
The Scholarship does not cover visa fees, IELTS cost, and Airfare ticket to and from the UK. The British Council holds a pre-departure briefing for new scholars. 

What are the candidate’s conditions of eligibility?

1. Applicant must be a resident citizen of Occupied Palestinian Territories.
2. Applicant must be currently employed by the Palestinian University which nominates them, which must be one of the participating Palestinian universities listed below.
3. Applicant with BA or Masters degree from a Palestinian University should have a minimum grade of very good (3.0) in UK (equivalent to 80% in local universities).
4. No age limit required.
5. Applicant must sign a written contract with their university declaring that they will return to Palestine and work in their university on completion of their degree.
6. Applicant must have IELTS certification appropriate for course and university (minimum 6.5).To apply for the scheme,  applicants must contact the University Coordinator listed below.

Participating Palestinian universities

1. Al Quds Open University
2. Al Quds University Abu Dees
3. Al-Aqsa University
4. Al-Azhar University
5. American Arab University in Jenin
6. An-Najah National University
7. Birzeit University
8. Gaza University College of Applied Sciences (UCAS)
9. Islamic University of Gaza
10. Palestine Ahliya University
11. Palestine Polytechnic University – Hebron
12. Palestine Technical University Kadoorie
13. University of Bethlehem
14. University of Hebron
15. University of Palestine

HESPAL Is Funded By:

  • Participating UK Higher Education Institutes (UK HEIs)
  • A range of private sponsors (details provided on request)
  • The Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS)
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)
  • The Arab Fund in Kuwait

NOTE: HESPAL is managed and administered by British Council of Palestine. 

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