In an effort to try and share my university experience, I have chosen mission statements from two Lebanese universities. The first university, the one I have attended in my undergrad, is NDU-Notre Dame University. As the name implies, this catholic institution is a relatively new but well established. The second university is AUB-American University of Beirut, without a doubt the best university in Lebanon (also the most expensive, but that’s another issue: p). This institution was established 152 years ago and along the way has garnished a very respectable reputation.
NDU: Mission Statement
As a Catholic institution inspired by the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Maronite Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) seeks to provide comprehensive quality education that fosters excellence in scholarship, lifelong learning, enlightened citizenship, human solidarity, moral integrity, and belief in God.
In designing its curricula, NDU is committed to the philosophy and standards of the American model of liberal arts education. Conceiving itself as an authentic academic community, NDU promotes diversity, respect for human dignity and rights, and concern for the common good. Its profound aspiration is to prepare its students to be future leaders who can exercise reason upon knowledge and shape a world of truth, justice, love, and freedom.
Being a Catholic institution, NDU’s mission statement starts off by primarily acknowledging its heritage. The university is relatively new (founded in 1987) and does have a few initiatives to establish itself as a research institution (primarily in the engineering department), however, this goal is missing from its mission statement. The focus seems directed towards providing a quality education and preparing students for the work space.
AUB: Mission Statement
The American University of Beirut (AUB) is an institution of higher learning founded to provide excellence in education, to participate in the advancement of knowledge through research, and to serve the peoples of the Middle East and beyond. Chartered in New York State in 1863, the university bases its educational philosophy, standards, and practices on the American liberal arts model of higher education. The university believes deeply in and encourages freedom of thought and expression and seeks to foster tolerance and respect for diversity and dialogue. Graduates will be individuals committed to creative and critical thinking, life-long learning, personal integrity, civic responsibility, and leadership.
AUB is located in the heart of Beirut and is one of the most diverse universities (both in nationality and especially religion). This is directly reflected in its mission statement: “The university believes deeply in and encourages freedom of thought and expression and seeks to foster tolerance and respect for diversity and dialogue”. AUB is also a well-established research university, which is why research was promptly mentioned in the beginning.
The rest of both mission statements are quite what you would expect, however, even though the overall tonality of both mission statements are similar in many ways, one can still spot major differences in the ambitions and goals of different universities.