The Euro-Mediterranean Student Research Multi-conference Innovation and Employability - The Universities Challenge

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    Evaluation Of Energy And Co2 Savings Of An Institutional Collective Solar Water Heating System In Palestine
    (2011-03-21) A. M. Yasin; M. Al Sayed; B. Yasin; H. Arafat

    The collective solar water heater (SWH) system of the main cafeteria of Birzeit university -Palestine is evaluated in this paper in terms of utilized energy and the corresponding CO2 savings. The system is equipped with required sensors and data logger which is scanned remotely by telephone line using tele-monitoring system.
    The utilized energy using the collective solar SWH system and the environmental protection offered by this most widely renewable energy application is presented. The results show that by using solar energy considerable amounts of greenhouse polluting gasses are saved.
    The effectiveness of the system is calculated and it is found to be highly dependent on the consumption rate of water with other factors. The consumption rate is low compared to the capacity of the system which consequently degrades the efficiency. This is approved in the presented case study of a Crown Plaza Hotel- Amman which showed a higher CO2 savings with fewer collectors area.

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    Competency Building of College Graduates: Challenges and Possibilities
    (2011-03-21) Prof. Jawad Fatayer

    College graduates of Arab Universities enjoy tremendous talents for learning and development. As any student community there have strengths and weaknesses which some relate to the individual while other factors belong to the educational system and the environment whereby the learning and socialization take place.

    Personal genuine talents are always conditioned by the social environment and the institutional capacity to provide an opportunity for growth and development.
    The Arabic Education System is in need for reform to be able to compete with the contemporary challenges and expectations which will be demonstrated by its outcomes; the graduates.

    Its un-dismissible fact that college graduates in the Arab world lack certain competencies the market demands or the newly reformed institutions expect. Regardless of the major of the field of specialty, there are common global competencies college student needs and is expected to have to be able to compete and excel in today's real world as she/he graduates.
    At An-Najah National University has realized its successes and achievements throughout the years as well as the challenges stem from its commitment for Quality Education. This comes from its vision as a leadership in higher education and its contribution into the sustainable development in Palestine.

    Thus, NNU does not save any opportunity for development to improve its deliverables. One of the latest projects NNU has adopted is specifically designed to enhance graduates readiness for the market and improve their ability to contribute to the sustainable development of their community.

    The Competency Development Project which was launched in Oct. 2010 targeting the entire student community as part of institutional development strategy. However, due to limitations in finance and human resources, the project focuses in the time being on the newly admitted students and on the senior graduates who are about ready to finish their study.
    Approximately five hundred (500) students benefitted from the project between Oct-Dec, 2010 and over thousand (1000) students are expected to benefit from it during the period from Feb-May, 2011. The project plan anticipates approximately two thousand (2000) students to enroll in the workshops offered by this project every year.

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    Problems that face graduate students, compared with the labor market
    (2011-03-21) Rawan Hamdan; yasmen Asaket

    Teaching is considered one of the most important investment communities and the advanced folk who always seek to promote its human abilities. And that helps it accomplish its authority, independency and development. Where the education invests one of the community’s resources, which is his member’s mental capacities and energies to achieve the largest revenue of the comprehensive development in every field. And when the universities were the initial educational institutes which work to prepare the professional and Technical personnel arising in every field. The importance of studying the problems that encounter those members appears to improve their preparation to get into the market and its requirement. And from the other side, the problems of the unemployment and the weakness of the work value and the reduction of production level present a big challenge for the most of community institutes. Especially the universities, it has to coordinate between the energies and the needs of its sons from one side and the changeable needs of the labor market from another side. These problems show another obstacle prevent the development of the society-this society save the most of its investments- whether on the individual or the community level- in order to prepare and educate the youth for the labor market.

    There is a big change in the business and its requirement with the rapid increase in the knowledge also there is a change in the composition and the distribution of the workforce. And from these changes diminishing the need for non-skilled labor, the change of the business technology, and an increase in the professions and service information also the change in the role of the women in business, then the continuous increase in unemployment between youth who doesn’t have the market labor requirements. These changes give rise to the need to plane the professional preparation to cope with these changes. When the university prepare the student to the professions it doesn’t prepare them for ever last professions. The most important is to its curriculum and teaching programs to cope with the continuing changes in businesses and the market labor.

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    Employment Possibilities for An-Najah National University’s Graduates
    (2011-03-21) Sahar Obeid

    This study addressed the issue of employment possibilities for students graduating from An-Najah National University. The study concluded that there is a large number of graduates which led to a gap between supply and demand in the local market. There are several reasons behind this including the fact that most graduates lack many skills such as work skills, teamwork skills, computer and internet skills, English skills and others.
    Also, the fact the type of education that students receive focuses less on the practical side and makes the students unable to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their field of study. This can be attributed to the prevalent traditional academic teaching.
    Work force development in Palestine faces several obstacles especially in preparing skilled workers which would lead to develop the competitiveness in the Palestinian market. Statistics show that unemployment rates are growing inside the Palestinian work market especially among young people. Reasons behind the high unemployment rates are attributed to a number of factors including: The limited and small size of the market, its inability to cope with the growing population, the fact that the Palestinian society is considerably young, the absence of a database for the characteristics of supply and demand which would, if made available, help graduates choose their majors carefully, the fact that higher education graduates in Palestine lack adequate competency, skills and practical knowledge, in addition to the fact that most majors that are offered by Palestinian universities are considered classical, meaning that the more update and modern specializations that are mostly demanded by the market are not available to students.

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    Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) “Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters”
    (2011-03-21) Jalal Al Dabbeek

    First, the concept of disasters and their impact was introduced. The effects of disaster events can be elucidated by organizing them into four interrelated categories, physical, environmental, social, and economic. The physical effects of disasters include the effects on buildings, structures, physical property, industry, roads, and bridges. Environmental effects are effects on water, land/soil, land-use, landscape, crops, lakes/rivers, estuaries, forests, aquaculture, animals/livestock, wildlife, atmosphere, energy, and etc. The effects designated social includes effects on life, health, employment, relations, security, and peace. Economic effects include those on assets, deposits, reserves, income, commerce, production, and insurance.

    Next, the relationship between disasters and development was explained. Disaster and development impact each other in ways that are both positive and negative. Development can impact DRR by increasing vulnerability if the development is not carried out in ways that take into consideration disaster preparedness. However, development can also positively impact DRR if development incorporates the building of resiliency to disasters into its plans. In this way development can really be sustainable. Disasters can also impact the development process negatively by interrupting or destroying it and positively by providing or improving development opportunities. Keys for linking sustainable development and disaster risk reduction can be divided into two categories, good governance and capacity building. Good governance includes participation, the rule of law, transparency, responsiveness, consensus building, equity and inclusiveness, effectiveness and efficiency, and accountability. Capacity building includes training activities, disaster education programs, public information, technical assistance, the improvement of organizational abilities, dissemination of knowledge, and improvement of infrastructure.

    The presentation continued by breaking down the implementation strategies of disaster risk reduction programs which can be understood as stopping any increase of risk for new construction and infrastructures, starting to decrease the unacceptable risk for existing constructions and infrastructures, and continuing to prepare for the consequences of expected hazards.

    Then, the concept of risk assessment and how seismic risk is ranked was introduced and explained. The level of risk, which can be defined as the combination of the probability of an event and its negative consequences, depends on the relationship between three parameters, hazard, vulnerability, and capacity. A hazard can take the form of a dangerous phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. Vulnerability means the characteristics of a community, system or asset that make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard. Finally, capacity is the combination of all the strengths, attributes, and resources available within a community, society or organization that can be used to achieve agreed-upon goals. At this point, risk assessment was connected to risk management in an integral way as assessment provides the means for understanding clearly the risk, whether it is a high, moderate, or low risk that is to be managed. The expected losses of a high risk warrant attention by senior management at all levels and a detailed inclusion is any disaster preparedness plan. In order to ensure adequate preparedness coordination with the other pertinent government entities, key stakeholders, and other UN and NGO/IO response agencies in contingency planning is highly encouraged. In the case of a moderate risk the hazard warrants attention and a scenario should be developed and included in a disaster plan. The required response may be of a magnitude that is well within the capacity of existing staff and personnel. Also, coordination with the other pertinent government entities, key stakeholders, and other UN and NGO/IO response agencies in-country may be warranted.

    The presentation went on to detail the following seismic hazard parameters, magnitude, depth, epicenter distance, and site effect. Site effect can further be broken down into the following factors: landslides, site amplification, liquefaction, and fault rupture. The presentation included examples of each type of factor in pictorial form. The negative impact of site effects can be lessened by effective land use policy. Following this, a case study of the seismic vulnerability of Palestinian common buildings was presented. The factors affecting the seismic vulnerability of buildings include building type, quality and workmanship, state of preservation, regularity, ductility, position, strengthening, earthquake resistant design, and site conditions. These were all further explained using examples taken from Palestinian common buildings.

    Part one concluded with the strategic goals of An-Najah National University related to DRR based on the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015. The strategic goals are the integration of disaster risk reduction into sustainable development policies and planning, development and strengthening of institutions, mechanisms and capacities, to build resistance to hazards, and the systematic incorporation of risk reduction approaches into the implementation of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery programs.

    The second part of the presentation was clarifying the methodology and concept of the rapid assessment of damaged buildings as well as how to increase the coping capacities in the post disaster damage assessment. Post disaster damage assessment includes classifying damages to building according to grades, 1 through 5, of increasing damage. The presentation included definition of each grade for two different types of buildings, masonry and reinforced concrete buildings, as well as picture examples of each grade.