When regional universities meet in Beirut

They came from Egypt, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Sudan, Palestine, Jordan or Iraq to meet their Lebanese counterparts at the 14th General Assembly of the 17-year-old Confremont in Beirut at La Sagesse University. November 18. Established in 2007 under the auspices of the Agence universitaire de la francophonie (AUF), rectors and representatives of university institutes in the Middle East, members of this conference, discussed the priority issues facing universities in the region. The topics that Lara Karam Boustany, rector of La Sagesse University and current president of Confremo, announced from the beginning in her opening speech. It is about “artificial intelligence and scientific Francophonie, the production and dissemination of knowledge in French, digital governance, but also this kind of governance and its new realities.” “The problems raised a year ago are still ongoing. But Confremo has an advantage and merit, to capture and discuss it, ”he assures.

Moreover, for Jean-Noël Baléo, regional director of AUF Middle East, “Konfremo is the ideal place to express problems in the specific context of our region, but also to encounter workable solutions on the ground”. . Given the difficult situation in higher education, institutional leaders are faced with “the obligation to develop strategies to advance sectoral policies to meet the challenges of universities in the Middle East.”

Between assessments and actions taken

In addition, the general assembly allowed Confremont’s thematic commissions to present the results of their work in parallel with seminars and round tables. In this context, Nidaa Abou Mrad, the head of the “Structure and Management of Research” commission, Antonin University vice-rector for teaching and research, announced that the first achievement of this commission was “the creation of an electronic catalog of the French language”. -Researchers speaking in the Middle East”. The collected database will be distributed to the general public on a website that is currently under development. The catalog will be updated with new documents. “In our committee, we were concerned about the topic of scientific francophonie and ways of its implementation in the research field, in our region,” he adds. “How to promote knowledge production in French in the Middle East?” What was the reason for holding the seminar? to draw up an inventory, but also to respond to the scientific Anglicization process, to propose ways to strengthen the scientific Francophonie of French-speaking universities in the Middle East in the fields of natural sciences, humanities and social sciences.

The 2nd topic raised in the General Assembly focused on digital governance. During his speech, the head of the “Strategy and Tools for Digital Management” commission and Vice President of Education of the French University of Egypt, Dima al-Hosseini emphasized that digital management “implies the definition of homogeneous and global management. a strategy within the enterprise that reflects the digital vision of all actors, covering all uses of digital technology.

In this context, the workshop “Digital management in the service of sustainable development goals” was built on 4 axes: using digital technology to ensure the sustainability of education, technologies and women’s empowerment, innovation and technology transfer, including strengthening IT sustainability and accessibility. to science and technology.

In addition, Rajaa Fakhoury, dean of the Faculty of Health of Beirut Arab University and head of the “Quality Assurance and Accreditation Process” commission, mentioned in his speech the goals of the commission, such as the development of internal capabilities. or the professionalization of quality managers in the field of evaluation of online learning. As for the action plan, after a survey was conducted to find out the challenges of universities in quality assurance of online education, he felt that there should be a “national law” to organize the latter and also “go through training and start quality assurance. Guide to online education in cooperation with AUF”.

Carla Eddé, vice-rector for international relations at Saint-Joseph University in Beirut, notes that the commission “Internationalization of enterprises: building projects, university partnerships” for which she is responsible “will share a list of contacts of heads of enterprises. International relations of the relevant 48 institutions to facilitate the establishment of relations between Confremo members. He also raised the issue of mandatory regulations governing the education of foreign students, starting with Lebanon’s pilot case. “It can put off international students and even universities,” he said, before announcing the creation of a “guide for international students on the rules used in Lebanon.” The idea is to then work on guides with other Confremo member countries. Karla Edde also mentioned the 3rd project presented by the commission, a general approach to the ranking of universities, the training of trainers, as well as networking aimed at the ranking.

Workshops that meet the needs of businesses in the region

The General Assembly brought its participants together around two other workshops whose themes were tailored to the needs of member businesses in the region. The first workshop “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and scientific Francophonie” was held after the World Scientific Francophonie Week. Its speakers discussed the expectations for the Francophone Research Network on Artificial Intelligence (ReFIA) created by the AUF. Finally, the CLICKS operator-led training workshop “Evolution of governance models in higher education: new realities for leadership” allowed us to examine the evolution of governance models and their good practices in times of crisis, as well as to what extent. educational institutions can face challenges and create shared and participatory governance structures.

They came from Egypt, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Sudan, Palestine, Jordan or Iraq to meet their Lebanese colleagues in Beirut, La Sagesse University, during the 17th and 14th General Assembly of Confremo. November 18. Rectors and representatives of academic institutions in the Middle East, members of this conference…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *