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The Ministry of Higher Education and scientific research was established in 1996, and was legislated through law No(11)/1998, which defined the goals, gave the legal status and framework the H.E.I's organizations.

In 2002 the Ministry of higher education and scientific research was merged with the Ministry of education in one Ministry. Before that, Higher education in Palestine commenced by the establishment of two-year colleges which focused on teacher training, universities came into existence in the 70's, during Israeli occupation, these institutions were part of the Palestinian efforts to protect their identity as well as to provide young Palestinians with the opportunity to pursue higher education. 

Palestinian HE is developed to create qualified graduates, competing locally and regionally. Recently, HE institutions are (14 university, an open university, 18 university colleges and 20 community colleges), with 214000 students and staff of 14600 academic, administrative and services.