During a ceremony held in Ramallah on 18 May 2009, Dr Nabeel Kassis, President of the Birzeit University, and Bertrand Reeb, CIES President, signed a partnership contract that will enable the University to organise the FIFA/CIES Programme of sport management in Palestine.

Various personalities from Palestine's sporting world attended the event, among them Gen Jibiril Al Rajoub, President of the Palestinian Football Association.

Thanks to this agreement under the auspices of FIFA, the Birzeit University becomes the eleventh member of the International University Network which was created by CIES and is already active in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Egypt, Senegal, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago and Ukraine.

The Birzeit University, which comprises more than 8700 students, aims to play a pivotal role in educating the future managers of Palestinian sport.
The programme will enable students from various professional and sporting horizons to acquire up-to-date knowledge in key aspects of sport management such as law, finance, management, event management, communication and marketing.

"We are very happy to be associated with an education programme that will help us to develop sports in Palestine, a country where a lot needs to be achieved in this area," commented Dr Kassis.

From his side, the CIES President emphasised the pleasure and the importance of welcoming a new member of the International University Network: "The cooperation with the Birzeit University, a dynamic and enthusiastic partner, reinforces our conviction that CIES has to be open to the world, to its multiple and rewarding cultural, social and economic realities."

The first edition of the programme will start in February 2010.