Lebanese American University


LAU and the University of Chicago seal historic partnership

New exchange agreement offers students the opportunity to conduct coursework at partner school, and benefit from internship and career placement opportunities through both institutions.


LAU’s faculty members worked in collaboration with the Harris School of Public Policy for over a year to craft the terms of the dual partnership.

LAU has partnered with the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy to establish an exchange program that will enable master’s students in applied economics to study at one of the United States’ premier academic institutions. 

The agreement, signed at LAU on October 20, was welcomed as a “historic agreement” by Kerwin Charles, interim dean of the Harris School. “We looked around the world for an institution that shared our values and we have found LAU,” he said at the ceremony that accompanied the signing of the cooperation agreement.

According to Charles, the two institutions are bound together by their emphasis on analysis and critical thinking. During their stay in Chicago, LAU students will be immersed in an environment that stimulates dialogue between different people. “Students can have their own opinions but not their own facts,” says Charles, “this is the approach we have at the Harris School of Public Policy.”

Thanks to the dual partnership, students from LAU who have successfully completed the first year of the master’s in applied economics will be able to conduct coursework at Harris and pursue internships and career placement opportunities through their U.S. partner. Conversely, LAU will be providing the same services, welcoming Harris’ students to its campus. 

Each university will also benefit from the other’s ties with institutions such as the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program as well as regional actors.

“This opportunity is very timely,” said LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra, welcoming his guest at the ceremony. “Regional institutions do not exist anymore and LAU has embraced the new notion of international university.”

Jabbra thanked LAU’s faculty members who worked in collaboration with the Harris School of Public Policy for over a year to craft the terms of the dual partnership. “It was an agreement based on collaboration, something that is required in our modern world,” said Jabbra.

The exchange program will further broaden Harris’ engagement in the Middle East and give its students unique exposure to the region’s policy issues and the chance to broaden their knowledge and sensitivity through experiential learning.

According to Jeremy Edwards, senior associate dean at the Harris School of Public Policy, “the relationship between applied economics in the Middle Eastern context, combined with the Harris approach to evidence-based, data-driven policy, will uniquely prepare graduates to immediately influence and positively impact the region’s greatest policy challenges, including conflict, energy, urban and cultural policy, and more.” 


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