FAFS 2025 builds on our proud history to bridges into our promising future, offering a strategic, two-tiered plan. Tier one focuses on continued excellence in discovery, learning, and engagement. Tier two builds on this excellence to continue impacting agriculture, food, nutrition, and environment sectors through effective partnering.
FAFS 2025 celebrates three overarching areas: the Nexus of water, energy, food, and health; expanding education to include service and experiential learning; and comprehensive engagement that links FAFS with its stakeholders. As we look to the future, FAFS programs will partner with the social sciences to increase collaboration in areas of policy, cultural identity, and economic development.
FAFS 2025 aligns with AUB’s Presidential strategic plan: each FAFS goal is matched to those set for the University as a whole. Several of these FAFS strategic initiatives are already underway.
FAFS Strategic Initiatives
Advancing Research Enabling Communities Center | AREC:
- AREC acts as Climate and Sustainability Center as well as a Learning, Innovation and Engagement Center for Renewable Resources and Health at AUB. Established in 1953, AREC is one of the regions' premier academic centers that caters to the needs of students, faculty, researchers, and communities. Located in the heart of Bekaa Valley, the center addresses the needs of the local communities it serves while serving as a center for learning and research about the most pressing challenges of our time: the development and sustainability of rural livelihoods and environmental sustainability, especially in semi-arid regions. AREC’s legacy is its contribution to experiential learning for over 2,000 agricultural engineers of Lebanon and the region and the development of Lebanon’s agricultural sector. FAFS activity through AREC has led to increased collaboration with the private sector and to a growing cooperative spirit with the surrounding communities, which helped in increasing crop yields and local dairy production. AREC strives to become a regional hub for water-energy-food-health (WEFH) nexus; a hub for participatory student learning experience; a regional community engagement center; a center of excellence for emergency environments; and a value creation and entrepreneurship hub. These goals can be achieved by implementing several initiatives across learning, research, community engagement, and business. AREC website and AREC flyer
Global Design Teams (GDT):
- The FAFS GDT offers high-impact development projects, full-cycle design experience, and a real-world environment that raise global awareness by providing a global experience with humanitarian impact. During their capstone projects, students will address specific problems and opportunities in the fields of sustainable agriculture and food systems. This will offer students a real-world experience through direct interaction with industry, community, and academic sponsors that allow them to work on issues like those they will encounter in the workplace following graduation. GDT flyer
Sustainable Development Goals | SDGs:
- FAFS coordinates activities at AUB to influence policy coherence in implementing SDGs and enabling an integrated campus-wide strategy to impact SDGs ranking. FAFS is leading an initiative to establish an SDG program with a clear roadmap to respond to UN call on sustainable development. The SDG program will develop synergies with other programs at AUB faculties and centers. FAFS contributes to 14 out of 17 SDGs and established a WEFRAH nexus community of science and practice that will serve as a catalyst to embark on SDGs. SDGs poster
Transforming Higher Education Project:
- This project aims to advocate for the education of future leaders with the commitment to serve society – leaders capable of positively affecting changes in their environment, promoting peace and understanding, and respecting diversity while contributing solutions for the major challenges of the 21st Century. The project´s purpose is to encourage and facilitate change processes within the university as well as to promote greater university engagement with the larger community to achieve the twin goals of producing future leaders and change-agents, as well as fostering greater prosperity and equity in society. The project introduces key elements of success in university transformation to strengthen learning processes among the select global institutions of higher learning. These key elements are experiential/ participatory learning, university engagement in communities, social entrepreneurial training & business development, ethical & value based leadership, and problem solving, conflict resolution through dialogue. Kellogg flyer
Water-Energy-Food-Health Nexus Renewable Resources Initiative | WEFRAH:
- FAFS leads a university-wide research initiative, WEFRAH, which emphasizes the need for integrative and sustainable research and development solutions as well as a holistic, systems level thinking to address and solve today’s very complex global challenges of health, water, food, and energy securities. Under WEFRAH, a two-year seed funding initiative was launched to create a critical mass of faculty members working together towards primary resources security. It responds to the President’s vision and call to engage in and impact our communities and strengthens collaborations between Faculties and Schools and between faculty from different disciplines. WEFRAH nurtures a bottom-up participatory approach within AUB and between AUB and external stakeholders in Lebanon, the region, and globally. It opens venues for collaboration with other universities within Lebanon and abroad. It is outcome- and action-oriented presents a contextualized and relevant approach to the achievement of UN Sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the MENA arid region. WEFRAH’s vision is to make AUB a regional hub for innovation and interconnectedness in renewable resources in arid and semi-arid regions through the water-energy-food-health nexus. Projects under WEFRAH will focus on interdisciplinary research and development innovations in technology, science, policy, and learning. WEFRAH website and WEFRAH flyer