The Hala Atalla Scholarship Fund
Sustaining Education for Palestinian Women
The Hala Atalla Scholarship Fund was established in 1996 to assist women students, especially those from remote villages and poor backgrounds, to fulfill their ambitions for higher education. The primary aim of the Scholarship Fund has been to try to ensure that no woman would drop out of Birzeit University for financial reasons. A secondary aim is to encourage women to enter fields of study other than the stereotypical “women’s" fields, so that Palestine can benefit from the intelligence and skills of its entire population.
The Fund always ensures that at least one student is funded to study in the field of psychology, in honor of the late Dr. Hala Atalla, for whom the scholarship was named. Dr. Atalla was a renowned faculty member and initiator of educational counseling at Birzeit University. She also worked in the broader community on issues of human development, taking a special interest in the rights and welfare of Palestinian women.
Administration of the Fund
The Fund is supervised by the Institute of Women’s Studies and is administered through the Hala Atalla Scholarship Fund Council, which is composed of representatives from the Office of Admissions and Registration, the Students’ Affairs Office, and the Institute. The Fund receives support from various individuals and organizations such as UNDP, and has received numerous grants from the Union of Arab Professional Women in the USA. All scholarship awards are disbursed to students through the University’s Finance Department.
Students are selected according to criteria and policies established by the Fund Council. Students seeking assistance through this Fund are requested to fill out an application that ascertains their financial need, academic performance, and community commitment. The applications are reviewed and decisions taken by the Fund Council.
The Hala Atalla Scholarship Fund assists women undergraduate students at Birzeit University who are facing financial hardship. These are women who are unable to finance their education through other means. The Fund specifically targets women who are widowed, divorced, orphaned or who for other reasons have no breadwinner in the family; women from rural areas and refugee camps; poor women; and married women with children who are looking for means to improve their families’ financial situation through higher education.