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Original Re.ViCa entry by Paul Bacsich. Updated to VISCED level by Nikos Zygouritsas of Lambrakis

For entities in Lebanon see Category:Lebanon

Partners situated in Lebanon


Lebanon in a nutshell

Lebanon (Arabic: لبنان Lubnān), officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (الجمهورية اللبنانية), is a country in Western Asia, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east, and Israel to the south. Due to its sectarian diversity, Lebanon established a unique political system in 1942, known as confessionalism, based on a community-based power-sharing mechanism. It was created when the ruling French mandatory powers expanded the borders of the former autonomous Ottoman Mount Lebanon district that was mostly populated by Maronite Catholics and Druze.

Lebanon is the historic home of the Phoenicians, a maritime culture which are beleived to have flourished for more than 3,000 years (3700-450 BC).

Before the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), the country enjoyed a period of relative calm and prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture, and banking. It is considered one of the banking capitals of Western Asia, and during its heyday was known to some as the "Switzerland of the East" due to its financial power and diversity at the time. Lebanon also attracted large numbers of tourists[8] to the point that the capital Beirut became widely referred to as the "self-proclaimed Paris of the East." Immediately following the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure.

Until July 2006, a considerable degree of stability had been achieved throughout much of the country, Beirut's reconstruction was almost complete, and an increasing number of foreign tourists were pouring into Lebanon's resorts. This was until the one month long 2006 Lebanon War, between the Israeli military and Hezbollah, which caused significant civilian death and serious damage to Lebanon's civil infrastructure. The conflict lasted from 12 July 2006 until a cessation of hostilities call, by the UN Security Council, went into effect on 14 August 2006. After some turbulent political times, Lebanon was again able to revive and restablize its economy and government. Lebanon is once again flourishing as one of the main tourist and banking destinations in the Middle East.

Lebanon is a parliamentary democratic republic, which implements a special system known as confessionalism.[50] This system is intended to ensure that sectarian conflict is kept at bay and attempts to fairly represent the demographic distribution of the 18 recognized religious groups in the governing body. High-ranking offices are reserved for members of specific religious groups. The President, for example, has to be a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim and the Speaker of the Parliament a Shi’a Muslim.

Lebanon's national legislature is the unicameral Parliament of Lebanon. Its 128 seats are divided equally between Muslims and Christians, proportionately between the different denominations and proportionately between regions.[55] Prior to 1990, the ratio stood at 6:5 in favor of Christians; however, the Taif Accord, which put an end to the 1975-1990 civil war, adjusted the ratio to grant equal representation to followers of the two religions. The Parliament is elected for a four-year term by universal suffrage although the civil war precluded the exercise of this right.

The Grand Serail, the government headquarters in downtown BeirutThe executive branch constitute of the President, the head of state, and the Prime Minister, the head of government. The parliament elects the president for a non-renewable six-year term by a two-third majority. The president appoints the Prime Minister.[56] Following consultations with the parliament and the President, the Prime Minister forms the Cabinet, which must also adhere to the sectarian distribution set out by confessionalism.

Lebanon's judicial system is a mixture of Ottoman law, Napoleonic code, canon law and civil law. The Lebanese court system consists of three levels: courts of first instance, courts of appeal, and the court of cassation. The Constitutional Council rules on constitutionality of laws and electoral frauds. There also is a system of religious courts having jurisdiction over personal status matters within their own communities, with rules on matters such as marriage and inheritance.


Lebanon is divided into six governorates (mohaafazaat, Arabic: محافظات —‎;singular mohafazah, Arabic: محافظة‎) which are further subdivided into twenty-five districts (aqdya — singular: qadaa). The districts themselves are also divided into several municipalities, each enclosing a group of cities or villages.

Lebanon education policy

Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) regulates all education institutes in the public sector through a regional education system. The education system in Lebanon is centralized, and this regulation is not direct. The education system is managed through regional education bureaus. Public schools are monitored by the regional education bureaus in the governorates. The regional education bureau serves as liaisons between the public school and the directorates of education at the ministry’s headquarters. Private schools have their own organization, but private schools are still subject to the authority of the MOEHE.

The Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD) is an autonomous staff organization under the trusteeship of the MOEHE. CERD’s tasks are 1) to draft curricula of academic and vocational education for the pre-university education stage, 2) to revise and modify the curricula according to the necessity, 3) to prepare all means and ways for applying these curricula, 4) to do educational research, 5) to secure training for pre-university teachers, 6) to prepare the curricula in all subject areas, 7) to provide teacher training, 8) to write textbooks, and 9) to conduct evaluations, etc.

Schools in Lebanon

All Lebanese schools are required to follow a prescribed curriculum designed by the Ministry of Education.

Private schools, approximately 1,400 in all, may also add more courses to their curriculum with approval from the Ministry of Education.

The main subjects taught are mathematics, sciences, history, civics, geography, Arabic, and at least one secondary language (either French or English). The subjects gradually increase in difficulty and in number. Students in Grade 11, for example, study up to eighteen different subjects.

The government introduces a mild form of selectivity into the curriculum by giving 11th graders choice between two "concentrations": sciences, humanities, and 12th graders choose between four concentrations: life sciences, general sciences, sociology and economics, and humanities and literature. The choices in concentration do not include major changes in the number of subjects taken (if at all). However, subjects that fall out of the concentration are given less weight in grading and are less rigorous, while subjects that fall within the concentration are more challenging and contribute significantly to the final grade.

Students go through three academic phases:

  1. elementary - 6 years
  2. intermediate = 3 years
  3. secondary - 3 years

These three phases are provided free to all students and the first eight years are, by law, compulsory. Nevertheless, this requirement currently falls short of being fully enforced.

Pre-Primary Education

According to the World Bank database, gross enrollment rate of pre-primary education is 67.1 percent for male, 65.6 percent for female, and 66.4 percent for total in 2007. Pre-primary education aims to initiate children into the school environment. The goal of pre-primary education is 1) to create a favorable climate for the children to communicate with others, 2) to develop their physical capacities, limb control and coordination of their movements, and 3) to educate their senses. Pre-primary education also takes into account physiological moral and intellectual development of children. According to the World Bank database, private enrollment share for pre-primary education is 80.3 percent in 2008.

Basic Education

Elementary Level According to the World Bank database, gross enrollment rate of elementary level of basic education is for 96.8 percent for male, 93.9 percent for female, and 95.4 percent for total in 2007. Private enrollment share in elementary level is 67.6 percent in 2007.

Intermediate Level

According to the World Bank database, gross enrollment rate of intermediate level is 83.2 percent for male, 90.7 percent for female, and 86.9 percent for total in 2007. (The World Bank Edstats) Primary completion rate of Lebanon (US$6,000 GNI per capita in 2007) is lower than that of Tunisia, Jordan, Iran, Algeria, West Bank and Egypt (all of which have lower GNI per capita). Primary completion rates have not improved during the period 1995/96 to 2003/04. In 2007, Primary completion rate is 79.8 percent for male, 83.3 percent for female, and 81.5 percent for total. According to UIS database, technical and vocational enrollment as percent of total enrollment in intermediate level is 5.1 percent in 2008. Private enrollment share of general education in intermediate level is 60.2 percent and that of technical and vocational education is 56.8 percent in 2008.

Secondary Education

Secondary education is three years education, and composes of general education (humanities, economics, life sciences, science) and technical education (about 55 different fields of study). School principals decide students’ path based on students’ aptitude as shown by the Brevet examination results. When students complete three years education, they take official Lebanese Baccalaureate exams in their respective tracks (four in all). Students who finish examinations successfully obtain the Lebanese Baccalaureate Certificate of Secondary Education (Shahaadat Al-Bakaalouriya al Lubnaaniya l’il-ta ‘liim al-Thaanawi) or the Technical Baccalaureate (Al-Bakaalouriya al-Finniya). Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have limited access to public secondary education. Most of them are not able to afford the high cost of private secondary education. UNRWA operates three secondary schools in Beirut, Saida and Tyre. School operated by UNRWA partially offset the absence of available educational opportunities at the secondary school level.” (UNRWA website) According to the World Bank database, gross enrollment rate of secondary education is 69.8 percent for male, 80.2 percent for female, and 74.9 percent for total. According to UIS database, technical and vocational enrollment as percent of total enrollment in secondary level is 27.8 percent in 2008. Private enrollment share of general education in intermediate level is 49.8 percent and that of technical and vocational education is 56.9 percent in 2008.

Higher education

Higher education in Lebanon composes of Technical and Vocational Institutes, University colleges, University Institutes and Universities. The Lebanese University is the only public institution. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education administrates the private and public sectors and Technical and Vocational Institutes are under the Directorate General of Technical and Vocational Education Directorate General of Higher Education has responsibility for University Colleges, University Institutes and Universities).

According to the World Bank database, gross enrollment rate of tertiary education is 46.9 percent for male, 56.3 percent for female, and 51.6 percent for total. (The World Bank 2009) Private enrollment share of tertiary education is 53.4 percent.

Female students are seen in every university program or field of specialization.

Following high school, Lebanese students may choose to study at a university, a college, or a vocational training institute. The number of years to complete each program varies. The lebanese Baccalaureate is accredited worldwide. French Baccalaureate can be presented by students who have other nationality than the lebanese. The French Baccalaureate is also accredited.

While the Lebanese educational system offers a very high quality and international class of education, the local employment market lacks enough opportunities, thus encouraging many of the young educated to travel abroad; Successful Lebanese engineers, doctors, businessmen, etc. are found practically all over the world. Lebanon has 41 nationally-accredited universities, several of which are internationally recognized. The American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Université Saint-Joseph (USJ) were the first Anglophone and the first Francophone universities to open in Lebanon respectively. The forty-one universities, both public and private, largely operate in French, or English as these are the most widely used foreign languages in Lebanon.

At the English universities, students who have graduated from an American-style high school program enter at the freshman level to earn their baccalaureate equivalence from the Lebanese Ministry of Higher Education. This qualifies them to continue studying at the higher levels. Such students are required to have already taken the SAT I and the SAT II (Subjects Test) upon applying to college, in lieu of the official exams. On the other hand, students who have graduated from a school that follows the Lebanese educational system are directly admitted to the sophomore year. These students are still required to take the SAT I, but not the SAT II.

There are several prestigious universities in Lebanon, including the Arts, Sciences and Technology University in Lebanon, the Lebanese University, the University of Balamand, the American University of Beirut, Beirut Arab University, the Lebanese International University, Haigazian University, the Université Saint-Joseph, the Lebanese American University, and the Notre Dame University - Louaize. In addition, some students choose to study abroad. The United Nations assigned Lebanon an Education Index of 0.84 in 2005.

The United Nations assigned Lebanon an education index of 0.871 in 2008.

Not all private higher educational institutions in Lebanon consider SAT I or SAT II for undergraduate admissions. The majority require a local entrance test prepared by these individual higher educational institutions. In most times, the entrance test is a placement test. The main requirement for undergraduate admissions for Lebanese students is the secondary-school leaving certificate called the Baccalaureate II or more recently the International Baccalaureate. However, students with a foreign nationality are admitted to private higher education institutions that pattern after the American system of higher education as Freshman students in case they do not have an equivalence to the Baccalaureate II. In case they obtain an equivalence from the Ministry of Education and higher Education, they are admitted as sophomore students. As for the Lebanese University, which is the only public higher educational institution in Lebanon, students are admitted to undergraduate programs based on their Baccalaureate II. A number of Faculties at the Lebanese University, such as the Faculty of Sciences require further testing for selectivity based on entrance tests (concurs)prepared and administered by this faculty.

Universities in Lebanon

(source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_universities_in_Lebanon)

This is a list of universities in Lebanon.

  1. Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA)
  2. American University of Beirut (AUB)
  3. Antonine University (UPA)
  4. American University College of Technology (AUT)
  5. American University of Science and Technology (AUST)
  6. Arab Open University (AOU)
  7. Business and Computer University College (BCU)
  8. Beirut Arab University (BAU)
  9. Beirut University Online
  10. C&E American University(C&E AU)
  11. Ecole Superieure des Affaires (ESA
  12. Global University
  13. Haigazian University
  14. Hariri Canadian University
  15. Hawaii University
  16. Honolulu University
  17. Islamic University of Lebanon
  18. Al Jinan University
  19. Lebanese American University (LAU)
  20. Lebanese Canadian University (LCU)
  21. Lebanese International University (LIU)
  22. Lebanese University (UL) (French)
  23. Manar University of Tripoli (MUT)
  24. Matn University
  25. Middle East University
  26. Near East School of Theology
  27. Notre Dame University - Louaize (NDU)
  28. Université de la Sagesse
  29. Université Saint-Joseph (USJ)
  30. Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik (USEK)
  31. University of Balamand
  32. PRINCELY International University

Polytechnics in Lebanon

No details.

Education reform

The Bologna Process

Administration and finance

According to the World Bank database, public education expenditure as percentage of GDP is 2.7 in 2007 and public education expenditure as percent of government spending is 9.6 in 2007. Public schools are financed by the Ministry of Education and private schools are financed by students’ fees. The processes involved curricula draft and modification, and teacher training are mainly financed by nongovernment funds such as private companies or international bodies which include the World Bank and the UNDP.

Quality assurance

Information society

Towards the information society

Information society strategy

Virtual initiatives

Interesting Virtual Campus Initiatives

Beirut University Online

Beirut University Online - BUonline - claims to be the first Distance Learning academic institution in the Middle East, starting online activity in 1998. Its mission is "to bring quality education to the Arab World".

It is a private institution, sponsored by the Institute for Higher Education, a non-profit organization registered in Lebanon, in accordance with the Civil Code of Lebanon, article 844, issued on April 11, 1932.

Beirut University Online's main office is in Beirut, Lebanon. It also operates an internship centre in the Lebanon Mountains, where students, faculty and staff spend parts of the summer attending required academic and professional internship programmes.

The Beirut University Online web site is at http://www.buonline.edu.lb

Founded in 1994, the University limited its academic activities to research and consultations. During 1998, "Distance Learning" academic programs were added to BUonline's academic activities, covering the areas of business administration, computer sciences, health sciences and environment studies. The University emphasizes scholarly pursuits that encourage self-motivation, freedom of thought and social responsibility.

The academic program is fully online, computer-driven, internet-hosted instructional procedure. In addition, periodic residency sessions are held for all registered students.

The relationship to Beirut University is not clear but it is presumed to be a Virtual Campus outgrowth of that university.

Arab Open University

There is also a Lebanon campus of the Arab Open University.

Interesting Programmes

Re.ViCa Case-study


Lessons learnt


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