American University of Beirut

Mission and Objectives

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A growing concern about climate change in many Arab countries has led to the consideration of strategic energy options beyond oil and gas. The Arab governments' and public and private companies' investments in the Gulf and the MENA region have resulted in the expansion and the re-direction of research priorities in universities and educational institutions to meet new market needs. More funding is available to develop, adapt, train and prepare for the demands of the new labor markets of green energy businesses and product investments. Serious research output relevant to the local market is taking place and is attracting students and faculty to contribute to the development of knowledge at home. In published background articles by the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States in 2010 as part of the Arab climate resilience initiative, energy research and economic development agenda in the Arab world, the following three areas of importance for climate change mitigation were identified:​​

  • Energy supply and alternative energy technologies

  • Sustainable water production and utilization

  • Energy efficient building systems and processes

Arab countries began economic reforms to stimulate private investments and to support the transition to a market economy. These reforms have also emphasized the redefinition of national and regional research strategies, and the introduction of quality assurance in educational institutions.These discussions have affected energy education and research in universities to be directed towards addressing local and regional problems, the need for developing students’ critical thinking skills, and to be more innovative if universities are to enhance the expansion of the green energy and green technology markets in the Arab world. The development of renewable products, the availability of research funding, and the offering of green education will lead to accelerated development, affordability, and the adoption of sustainable practices in the areas of energy, manufacturing, and water production.

The private sector and universities are to respond to the new urgency of preparing skilled green labor for the green energy market, building, and products. There will be a growing demand for trained personnel in green technologies with a deep understanding of integrated approaches to building design from concept to actual construction, to alternative energy generation methods, and to techniques for safe water production and re-use. It is timely for universities to extend their learning community to professionals who are not only degree seekers, but who also need to acquire new skills to grow their green businesses and meet the evolving green market demand in energy, buildings. and water. Many professionals are interested in a specific specialization and would like to have the flexibility of acquiring knowledge in a less structured method due to their work commitments. The introduction of green technology certificate programs would be a highly needed professional education to support and build capacity in areas of specialization that are identified as fastest research and market growth areas for employment.

The program objectives are:

  • To foster problem solving competencies among professionals pursuing careers in
    green industries

  • To develop lifelong learning skills among professionals from different disciplines
  • To assist professionals in acquiring the diverse and critical skills needed to advance in
    their green technology careers

  • To develop expertise in green technologies related to applications in energy, water,
    and buildings

On successful completion of this green technology diploma program in any area of specialization, students/trainees will:

  • Acquire an in depth understanding of green technologies relevant to jobs in planning,
    design and implementation methods for sustainable energy, buildings, and water technologies and industries

  • Build analysis and hands on skills needed for the development and implementation of green products and processes in the area of specialization (energy, building, or water)
  • Develop lifelong learning skills in the green technologies field. The Pro-Green Diploma program emphasizes life long learning through the establishment of a community of practice and through problem/project-based learning, including case studies related to real life applications from the participants' own fields of practice; and
  • Identify how economic analysis, policy and regulatory frameworks can help in expanding the green technologies market

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