OIP organizes its first workshop on Internationalization in Higher Education in Lebanon
On January 9, 2019, the Office of International Programs was proud to deliver a collaborative workshop for offices of international programs at other universities in Lebanon. This was an opportunity for AUB, LAU, USEK, USJ and the Lebanese University to come together for the first time to participate in exchanging best practices and challenges in the field of international higher education, a relatively new field in higher education in Lebanon.
The first session focused on challenges to the establishment and maintenance of international partnerships. Representatives split into two groups to brainstorm possible solutions to the challenges identified.
In session two, the discussion revolved around study abroad and the group worked together to identify common issues that needed to be addressed such as: enhancing the visibility and promotion of study abroad services, ensuring the transfer and equivalence of courses, and providing time for students to tackle the increasing difficulties Lebanon is facing concerning immigration policies and funding. Participants sought opportunities and possible solutions to these challenges.
Session three was geared towards international student services. All universities were proud of their respective buddy programs and this was a common strength. Others however cited difficulties in securing visa and residence permits for example as well as the perceived risk of travelling to Lebanon.
The workshop concluded with a joint pledge to plan collaborative efforts as a means to strengthening the field of international higher education in Lebanon. Results of the workshop survey were positive with all participants indicating an interest in being part of this collaborative network and attending similar future workshop. The majority also felt that the workshop met their expectations and was relevant to their work.
This workshop provided an important opportunity for universities to come together to learn from each other and support each other in developing best practices and confronting common challenges in the field of international higher education.