HIGHER EDUCATION IN TIMES OF COLLAPSE Final event – 10 November 2022

As a follow-up to the series of stakeholder dialogues “Higher Education in times of collapse”, the HOPES-LEB project together with the National Erasmus+ Office of Lebanon organised a final event on Thursday 10 November 2022  in collaboration with the Directorate General of Higher Education of the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

This gathering is the final event of the series of stakeholder dialogues organised on a national level in 2022 with professionals and academics, representatives of universities, institutions and organisations as well as students, to further discuss the current situation in the higher education sector in light of the unstable health, economic and political context in Lebanon. 

These gatherings allowed to identify needs, challenges and mitigation measures adopted by different institutions and contributed in the development of a set of recommendations aiming for better-coordinated approaches on a national level and to help national and international relevant stakeholders to address the situation accordingly.  

In his welcome speech, Dr. Mazen El Khatib, Acting Director General of Higher Education of the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education, highlighted the key role of higher education by saying “The current economic crisis has put the higher education sector and institutions in front of various challenges and difficulties which has forced us to be constantly in a state of confrontation in order to meet and face these challenges. This is because we are all aware that the survival of our country, Lebanon, depends on education and especially higher education.”

Ms. Alessia Squarcella, Deputy-Head of Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon welcomed the collaborative process in which the stakeholder dialogues took place and stressed the importance of reform implementation for ensuring quality higher education in the longer term. 

The first session included a presentation of the Higher Education in Times of Collapse initiative and set of recommendations by: 

  • Aref Alsoufi, Director of the National Erasmus+ Office of Lebanon
  • Rima Rassi, Research Development Manager, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut

The second session entitled “Reflections on the way forward”,  was moderated by Carsten Walbiner, Director of the HOPES-LEB project and included the intervention of the following guest speakers:

  • Véronique Kazpard, Coordinator at the International Relations Office at the Lebanese University
  •  Aref Alsoufi, Director of the National Erasmus+ Office of Lebanon
  •  Mazen El Khatib, Acting Director General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Lebanon
  • Orla Colclough, International Aid Cooperation Assistant, Higher Education focal point at the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon
  • Hana Addam El Ghali, Senior Educational Specialist, World Bank 

This panel discussion and the ensued general discussion allowed to have a reflection on the recommendations from different perspectives and focused on approaches and potential measures to be adopted to better define priorities for action and guide future interventions of assistance from donor agencies. 



For more information about the “Higher Education In Times Of Collapse” initiative and paper of recommendations