LAU and the University of Balamand, the beginning of a fruitful alliance
The two universities agree to establish research and exchange programs, and to promote the development of joint studies, research and training activities.
“This is a historic moment,” declared Dr. Elie A. Salem, president of the University of Balamand (UOB), at the recent signing ceremony of an agreement for student and faculty exchange between UOB and LAU.
The collaboration is an expression of the two parties’ desire to establish research and exchange programs and to promote the development of joint studies, research and training activities as well as other educational programs of mutual interest. The agreement specifically concerns fields of scientific research including pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical sciences, basic translational sciences and clinical pharmacology, as well as molecular and cellular biology.
“This first-of-its-kind alliance will lead the students participating in the exchange program to a master’s degree in science,” explained LAU President Joseph G. Jabbra. Moreover, faculty members will be able to teach part or entire courses at either institution, and will be able to access utilities and facilities on both sites. The agreement goes as far as working toward developing master’s and Ph.D. programs tailored to both institutions’ interests in biomedical sciences, molecular and cellular biology, medical biochemistry, pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacology.
“Without such collaboration we will not be able to accomplish as much,” said Jabbra. “We are here offering our students the opportunity to excel in everything they do. It is important that we show the way,” he added.
This sentiment was shared by Salem, who also expressed the need for close cooperation in the field of higher education. “It is an honor for us to join this venture. As managers our challenges are increasing, especially in this part of the world, and it is our responsibility to do everything we possibly can to create a generation that not only excels professionally but also believes in freedom, tolerance, plurality and human dignity, and that is committed to spreading these values throughout the Middle East.”
For Lamis Karaoui, clinical assistant professor and director of experiential education at the School of Pharmacy, this agreement will open great research and collaboration opportunities for students and faculty alike. “It will expose students to different research approaches, empowering their leadership skills while increasing our schools’ visibility, allow for professional and personal development, and increased interdisciplinary work and networking. This is tremendously enriching at all levels – and very necessary.”