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06 December 2017

Bethlehem University Holds its First Annual Software Engineering Conference 

The Computer Information Systems Department at Bethlehem University in cooperation with Expotech held its first annual conference entitled “Software Engineering Perspectives and Local Market Needs” on Wednesday, 6 December 2017 at Furno Hall. 
The conference was under the patronage of his excellency Dr. Sabri Saidam, Minister of Education and Higher Education. Information technology professionals and software engineers from the private sector attended the conference in addition to members of faculty, staff and students.
Br. Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University, welcomed the attendees and stressed Bethlehem University’s unique role in responding to the needs of the Palestinian people by getting in touch with the industry and emerging a unique curriculum. 
Br. Peter continued that “Bethlehem University is not an isolated institution on the hill, unrelated to Palestine. The way it engaged with the industry and organizations like Expotech enabled the university to produce educated citizens who will be able to contribute to the society and build Palestine”. He added that the university has huge expectations of the software engineering students and they are expected to take advantage of this opportunity. 
Br. Henry Chaya, Chairperson of the Computer Information Systems Department, said that this conference was part of developing the software engineering program. He added that part of the process was to discuss the interactions between the academe and the industry to try to put together the best possible program that will prepare the students to enter careers in IT with the skills needed. 
Dr. Saidam thanked Bethlehem University for holding this vital conference which is an opportunity to discuss the software engineering field. He called for the need to focus on two main aspects which are entrepreneurship and technical and vocational education. He stressed the need of university majors that are commensurate with the needs of the local and international labor markets. 
Mr. Ahmed Al-Saadi, software engineer at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), was the key note speaker at the conference. His presentation was entitled “Towards a Paradigm Shift: Reflections on Regional Software Engineering Trends and Opportunities”. 
He discussed the trends, challenges, and opportunities that affect Arab software engineers in the MENA region. He presented his personal reflections on the experiences gleaned from working in both North America and the MENA region. He also discussed possible steps that can bring the regional software engineering industry to a world-class standard.
The conference was sponsored by PCNC IT Solutions and the Palestinian Market Development Programme (PMDP).  PMDP is funded by the UK Department for International Development (UKAid) and the European Union (EU) in-cooperation with the Ministry of National Economy, with offices in Ramallah and Gaza. 

Software Engineering Conference

Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine