Top Universities in Lebanon
The roots of Lebanese education are very old and the powerful education system and institutions in Lebanon are famous not only regionally but globally. As an example can serve the Lebanese American University (LAU), which foundation dates back to the early 19th Century. Lebanon has been always well-known for its high quality institutions of higher education – universities. Therefore, as Dr. Joseph Jabbra, President of LAU, comments: "Parents have been known to say to their kids 'money comes and goes', 'property comes and goes', but there´s one thing that no one can take away from you and that´s education." He also claims that Lebanon has always been the first; Lebanon has always had the cutting edge of education. One of the Lebanese education institutions which constantly seeks innovation is Ecole Supérieure des Affaires (ESA), an elite university which offers superior postgraduate education.
Lebanese education system could by classified into two major systems. Lebanese universities are either run according to the French system (e.g. Université Saint-Joseph) or they have the American system (e.g. LAU, AUB etc.).
According to Prof. Chamussy, Rector of USJ, there are "47 authorized higher education institutions and five more pending authorization."
According to the World Bank, 46.9% of males and 56.3% of females enroll into the higher education in Lebanon. As for the private enrollment, 53.4% enroll into private institutions of higher education.
The most prestigious and high-ranked universities in Lebanon include Lebanese University (LU), American University of Science and Technology (AUST), Lebanese American University (LAU), Antonine University (UPA), American University of Beirut (AUB), Beirut Arab University (BAU), Lebanese International University (LIU), Haigazian University, Université Saint-Joseph (USJ) and many others.
Top Universities in Lebanon
American University of Beirut (AUB)
Philip S. Khoury | Chair, Board of Trustees
The American University of Beirut (or AUB) was founded in 1866 and thus became the first Anglophone university to open in Lebanon.
While the first class comprised only of sixteen students, the number of degrees and diplomas awarded to the AUB students since June 1870 totaled 82,032 (in June 2011). AUB is the largest private university in Lebanon and became a benchmark in the Arab world.
The AUB University has long been appreciated for its commitment to a broad-based liberal arts education.
Nowadays, the students who would like to study at the American University of Beirut can choose from more than 120 undergraduate and graduate programs from Faculties which include among others Arts and Sciences, Health Sciences, Medicine or the well-known Business School.
There are also some PhD programs for the postgraduates, including Arabic language and literature or Arab and Middle Easter History and various engineering programs.
80% of the AUB students are recipients of scholarship aid. The University students represent 66 countries. There are currently almost 6,500 undergraduate and more than 1,500 graduate students at the American University of Beirut.
Université Saint-Joseph (USJ)
Prof. René Chamussy | Rector
USJ is the first Francophone university in Lebanon. It is a private institution of higher education which was founded in 1875.
Université Saint-Joseph has some sort of a partnership with more than 100 universities worldwide such as Arab, American, European or Canadian. Another partner of USJ is for example Renault-Nissan.
USJ currently employes over 1,880 professors. Another 500 employees and workers are employed in general services and laboratories.
The number of students at USJ adds up to 11,000.
Faculties at Université Saint-Joseph include Religious Sciences, Medicine or Social Sciences.
In 2003, Université Saint-Joseph chose to adopt the the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) which is a part of the European program.
USJ belongs to the French system of education. The Rector, René Chamussy, believes that the French-speaking world drives multilingualism and therefore, there is a need for French universities like USJ.
Lebanese American University (LAU)
Dr. Joseph Jabbra | President
Lebanese American University was established in 1835, when American School for Girls (ASG) was founded in Beirut.
LAU is a private institution of higher education, situated in Beirut and Byblos. The students can choose from 7 schools, including Architecture & Design, Nursing and Pharmacy.
8,273 students enrolled at Lebanese American University in the fall 2011, out of which 4,207 were of male gender and 4,066 were femals. As for the 2010-2011 Academic Year, the total of 1,737 degrees was granted to the LAU students.
Lebanese American University currently employs more than 337 full-time faculty staff, of which majority have Lebanese nationality (165).
More than $7MM were disbursed by LAU in a form of grants, work aid or loans in the fall 2010.
The motto of Lebanese American University says: Excellence is our Passion, LAU is our Pride.
Ecole Supérieure des Affaires (ESA)
Stéphane Attali | President
Established in 1996 as a joint cooperation between the French and Lebanese, ESA us the one and only Grande Ecole for Business in the Middle East region.
Ecole Supérieure des Affaires has around 500 students, mostly professionals as the executive programs at ESA - such as the MBA - require 7-10 years of professional experience.
One of ESA's assets is its unique international faculty which is made up of about 180 visiting professors, who are coming to ESA 3-4 times a year to help develop research and training.
The main objective of Ecole Supérieure des Affaires is to become the leader in the economic field for the whole region - not only Lebanon.
Beirut Arab University (BAU)
Beirut Arab University is a private institution for higher education in Lebanon, established in 1960.
Source: "The Status and Progress of Women in the Middle East and North Africa", The World Bank, 2009.
Picture Credit: AUB