Saint George University of Beirut is a noble cause and a promising opportunity for the young people and for Lebanon.
Dr. Tarek Mitri
To be sure, the many hardships, uncertainties and fears which befell Lebanon will put all our institutions to test, for many years to come. Excellence in education, which has characterized our country for many decades, might be severely
periled. However, and against all odds, there is a remarkable energy, rooted in hope, that infuses the efforts of many in various universities and schools, and among educators.
In this context, Saint George University of Beirut (SGUB) aspires to bear witness, not only to an ambition of excellence, but also to the strong determination and commitment of men and women whose creative, while realistic, efforts have been relentless.
For the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Beirut, under the inspiring leadership of HE Metropolitan Elias (Audi), Saint George University of Beirut has deep historical roots. In fact, it builds on a hundred and fifty years of active and uninterrupted engagement in education, medical services, and social work. It is meant to be an institution called to hold together faithfulness to the values that inspired this tradition and responsiveness to the needs of society in Beirut, Lebanon and beyond.
The University is a not-for-profit institution committed to accepting and supporting students according to their qualifications and needs, without any discrimination. It provides higher education of the highest quality, incorporating best-practices in other universities in innovative, unique, and dynamic educational paradigms that align with the evolving needs of Lebanon and the world.
The commitment of the University to excellence is exemplified by the agreement with Mayo Clinic. In its preparatory work towards the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine, SGUB is benefiting from the advice and support of this leading institution, prominent in integrating healthcare, medical education and scientific research.
Naturally, our nascent university will not be an academic institution serving a particular segment in society, nor does it define itself as an imitator or competitor to any existing university. While not favoring any particular group and ensuring openness to a diverse student population, SGUB will not pursue an accelerated growth and a massive enrollment.
SGUB will emphasize the importance of enabling students to acquire general, soft, and specialized knowledge, skills, and attributes their chosen disciplines. Students will also be prepared, from the start, to get acquainted with the evolving labor markets in Lebanon and abroad. They will be receiving, early in their studies, a practical training and will be encouraged, through an innovative pedagogy, to become “lifelong learners”.
The University is cognizant of the fact that being founded under the present circumstances, within the current economic and social conditions prevailing in Lebanon, it will have to address responsibly the problems arising from the difficulty of having prospective students cover their tuition fees. Therefore, Saint George University of Beirut adopts an ambitious and flexible support mechanisms that will allow qualified and motivated students with limited financial means to access and continue university education.
The University also builds on the experience of Saint George Hospital University Medical Center in medical education, post-graduate specialization programs and research. In addition, the Faculty of Medicine is called to be attentive, as one of its distinctive features, to the unfulfilled needs of Lebanon and the Arab world in the wider realm of health care, notwithstanding the large number of graduates from medical Faculties.
The particular focus of SGUB on health care sector extends beyond the Faculties of Medicine and Nursing. It concerns, though indirectly, other fields of education. Various specialties will have to develop close and mutually enriching relations in view of a greater multidisciplinarity.
Undoubtedly, there are people who see the founding of the Saint George University of Beirut today as an adventurous journey. Suffice to say that the founder of the University, and the Chairman of its Board of Trustees, His Eminence Metropolitan Elias, as well as the members of the Board of Trustees, a large group of friends and the faculty and staff that I serve as President, have a different viewpoint. They look at it, first and foremost, as a noble cause and a promising opportunity for the young people and for Lebanon.