American Univesity of Beirut

AUB – British Council partnership launches UK-Lebanon Year of Education 2020

​​​​Safa Jafari Safa, ​Office of Communications,​​​

AUB signed a partnership agreement with the British Council for a computer-delivered International English Language Testing System (IELTS), launching the UK-Lebanon Year of Education 2020 campaign to build on UK’s substantive education support to Lebanon. The launch was held in the presence of Minister of Education and Higher Education Akram Shehayyeb, as well as Lebanese and UK officials, and dignitaries from AUB and the British Council.

“Today’s ceremony is a symbolic event that reveals the level of excellence that we at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education are trying to reach, with the support of our true friends, namely the British government and the American University of Beirut, along with the cultural, educational, and technological renowned institutions,” said Minister Shehayyeb. “It is an occasion for us to express our pride in these friendships and fruitful relations.” 

The Year of Education 2020 campaign adds over $200 million to UK’s support to education in Lebanon between 2016 and 2021, continuing work with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to expand education access, quality, and systems. It also supports the development of more inclusive education for children with special educational needs, promotes Lebanon as an important investment opportunity for UK EdTech firms, and strengthens and expands British-Lebanese university links. 

British Ambassador to Lebanon Chris Rampling thanked AUB for their collaboration with the British Council on the launch of the computer-delivered IELTS in Beirut. 

“This partnership is not the first with this highly distinguished institution. But it is a great point of pride to me personally that the British Council, with its excellent history in this country, is partnering with one of Lebanon’s top academic institutions,” said Ambassador Rampling.

A globally certified test that facilitates English language qualification, IELTS is recognized by 10,000 organizations, educational institutions, employers, governments, and professional bodies around the world. The newly established agreement marks the first online version of the test in Lebanon.

“In line with previous collaboration and cooperation with the British Council, this joint agreement will see the establishment of the first ever in Lebanon computer online delivered IELTS which will make it significantly easier for students to gain necessary English language qualifications and compete in the global market,” said Dr. Karma El Hassan, director of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. “This signing signifies the importance of use of technology and digital solutions to meet the 21st century challenges in education.” 

“We continue to work closely with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to support quality formal, non-formal, and inclusive education to all children across Lebanon,” stated Ambassador Rampling, who added that in the last five years, there has been a 90% increase in the number of Lebanese students studying in the UK. Over 200 Lebanese students have studied in the UK through the UK Chevening program and are now part of a wider network of over 50,000 Cheveners around the world. Over 200 Lebanese Army officers have trained at UK elite military training institutions, in addition to 11,000 Lebanese Army soldiers in Lebanon, and many from the Internal Security Forces at various UK collaborated training programs. 

“We look forward to seeing the impact of this Year of Education being celebrated by the British embassy in Lebanon, with events that will highlight and expand the great work that the UK in Lebanon and the British Council are doing in this country and the region,” said AUB Provost​ Mohamed Harajli. “We are happy to carry that on between our two organizations.”

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