Prestige issue 266, September 2015
Pioneers in the Arab world and still ahead
Lebanese universities are recognized internationally for providing the highest level of education and the best quality. Beside the traditional, old established universities, like USJ, AUB, LAU. Lebanon has during the last decade experienced a large number of universities flourishing on its territory and providing students with varied majors, continuing the heritage of excellence that accompanied Lebanese students all over the world.
This wide network of universities cover most of the specialties, from classical majors like medicine and law or civil engineering to the latest specialties in technology, technological sciences and state-of-the-art studies that provide the Lebanese and the Arab market with a qualified working force, that can satisfy the continuously demanding market due to changes related to information technology. Beside their academic competencies, Lebanese educational system tends to form students with social, relational and practical skills thanks to education programs that combine practice with theory in order to guarantee quality based on several criteria.
Continuity, innovation, quality are three words that summarize the educational work of Lebanese universities, providers of several majors.
Besides obtaining foreign accreditations and establishing research centers, they have specialties in Business administration, technology programs, communication technologies, marketing besides economy, English literature, pedagogy…
The students graduating from lebanese universities are well perceived on the business market in Lebanon.
Others known for their academic excellence provide many specialties as hotel management, law faculty, political sciences and international relations, business administration and finance, health school that comprises paramedical and physiotherapy and a faculty of religious sciences.
A continuing education program where the student gets to know the practical side of his major, by meeting people on the market to discuss the programs of the major and try to find an approach between the theoretical side and the demands of the market. Besides establishing new specialties like: Nutrition, nursing and communication art.
Some innovated by creating a center for studies related to administrative decentralization and will be launching this summer a cultural center, that will include a museum for the Lebanese cinema in collaboration with the ministry of culture, and the futuristic library of the university that would be open to the public with rooms for lectures and exhibitions and a research center.
While some universities don’t aim to realize profit, and provide in addition to the classical majors, several engineering specialties like: technologies of medical engineering, computer and communication, topography, civil engineering, industrial engineering related to nutrition, which is a special major in Lebanon and the Arab world because it consists in forming specialized engineers in the fields of manufacture, maintenance of devices related to food manufacture, packaging of the food before preparing it for the market.
Applying a program to guarantee the quality gives confidence in the university and the graduate.
It consists in a strategy based on a variety of goals, criteria and ratings applied in international universities, like education, selection of students, human resources, financial resources, scientific research, transparency, integrity…
Arab Open University
«The first Lebanese university to achieve British accreditation»
Due to the high level of education which is crowned by the British accreditation, Arab Open University students can earn a Lebanese degree recognized and certified by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon and a British degree due to the partnership between Arab Open University and UK Open University. Professor Fairouz Farah Sarkis highlighted the most prominent features of the university.
Dr Fairouz Farah Sarkis, director of AOU. © Arab Open University.
Would you kindly provide us with some of the information regarding the establishment of your university and its stages of development? Arab Open University was established in the year 2000 with the support of the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND), which aims to creating global development projects. By establishing the university, AGFUND’s purpose was to help the young people to pursue a high level of education at an appropriate cost that suits the economic situation of the Lebanese students. In order to provide a high quality of education, the university has set up a partnership with the UK Open University (UKOU) based on adopting its programs, training our teachers and supervising the examinations. Upon completion of the academic requirements, the Arab Open University students earn 2 degrees: the Lebanese degree and the British degree.
How many branches do you have? Our main branch is located in Tayouneh-Badaro and the other branch is in Antelias, and we expect to inaugurate a new branch in Tripoli.
Campus life. © Arab Open University
What are the main majors available at the university? Our university programs vary based on the current labor market requirements; the below list is an overview of the available majors:
The BA/BS Programs
Information Technology & Computing: Information & Communication Technologies, Computing With Business Studies, Information Technology & Computing, Computing (Programming).
Business Administration: Systems Practice, Marketing, Accounting,- Economics, Management, Finance/micro-finance, Human Resource Management.
English Language & Literature: English Language & Literature, Translation, Elementary Education,
The MBA/MSc Programs: •-Business Administration•-Human Resource Management•-Software Development•-Information Security and Forensics
We are still waiting for the approval to launch the Engineering program.
What makes you different than other universities? •One of the things that sets us apart from the rest of other universities is that we highly take into consideration the financial situation of our students by providing approximately70% of the annual tuition fees while only 30% is paid by the student. Hence, the student’s annual payment will not exceed the $2000. •AOU emphasizes quality education and was the first Lebanese university to achieve external accreditation in 2003 which was British accreditation. The accreditation was renewed twice in a row and currently we are in the process for renewal for the third time
Do you have research centers? As part of quality in higher education reputable universities have to emphasize research and as such AOU has three research centers: •The Centre for Applied Linguistic Research CALR •The Centre for Computer Science Research SCROL •The Centre for Research on Economic and Business Studies CREBS and our faculty are so active in research publication.
How easily your students find a place on the job market? Employability depends to a great extent on the quality of professional knowledge of the candidate and on market needs.
As part of our follow up on our graduates and in order to provide the labor market with high quality professionals and based on collected data over the years, results showed that 95% of our students find jobs after 6 months of their graduation.
Arab Open University does not launch a major or a track unless a feasibility study and a market analysis are conducted, to make sure that the suggested educational program matches the labor market’s requirements.