The higher educational system in Lebanon and the Arab world should be modernized, Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said Saturday.
“How do we change our higher educational institutions in our Arab world to institutions that deserve the character of modern universities with this era’s specifications, conditions and needs?” Siniora asked, speaking during a celebration event at Beirut Arab University where he was presented with an award.
Siniora said the number of students in Lebanon had increased tenfold from the 1960s, reaching over 200,000 today and distributed over 45 higher education institutions. “This means the number of university students in half a century multiplied by 20 times but the number of institutions multiplied by six times.”
This surge in students and institutions was not restricted to Lebanon only but also the Arab world. Yet there are challenges that need to be faced to elevate the status of higher education in the region, he said.
Among these challenges is regulating the fast and random spread of universities. The institutions should be built based on a certain criteria related, not only to the facility itself, but also its administration, instructors and curriculum, he said.
“It has become urgent to rethink prevalent university specialties and encourage different ones,” he said.
© The Daily Star 2015.