Annual Volumes

The Universities in Lebanon and the Arab World: Women, Visions, and Issues

Gender Discrimination in Universities in the Arab World (Fadia Hoteit and Rose Debbas)

This study investigates the state of discrimination against university women professors in the Arab world. Our hypothesis is that gender discrimination is manifested in the gap between female and male university professors in higher academic ranks and decision-making positions. This exploratory research shows that there is indeed a level of gender discrimination against women though there is little awareness of it. Age, class, family support and lack of involvement in civil society have interacted to dilute both the effects and the awareness of discrimination against women professors. Furthermore, the study shows that gender awareness is positively related to the level of democracy present in a country, and to the degree in which women’s issues are marginalized, relative to issues of poverty and national security. Finally, this study shows that Arab women professors are deeply involved and committed academically, yet need to be moreinvolved in the public sphere. (Article in Arabic)

Women, Higher Education and Society: A Study of the Situation in Saudi Arabia (Abubakr Bagader)

This article studies the impact of women's education on their participation in the work-place and in society at large. The article uses three ideal types to analyse the situation: a) the ideal type of Tawdud, the slave girl, showing how her education and talent was in accordance with male dominance, and so was accepted as a sign of pleasure for men; b) the "Arab women in the field" type, not generally desired, and even felt to be threatening to male dominance, and so is either fought or neglected; c) the passive, but accumulatively ideal type of women's education and work in Saudia Arabia, which gives the impression that it is under control of male dominance, while in fact the demands of these women have become societal demands and dictates. (Article in Arabic) 

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Women Professors and their Cultural Role in the College of Letters, Lebanese University (Noha Bayoumi)

Cette étude s’efforcera de cerner le rôle culturel joué par les femmes professeurs, dans les cinq sections de la faculté des lettres et sciences humaines. Nous tenterons ici : -de faire le point sur leur statut culturel dans cette institution universitaire publique, à travers ses politiques, qui favorisent ou qui empêchent, l’épanouissement et l’élargissement de leur rôle culturel. -de montrer la nature et la diversité de leurs oeuvres culturelles (recherches, conférences, séminaires.) -de retracer les effets de leur rôle culturel dans les différentes sections, ainsi que dans la société Libanaise. (Article en arabe) 

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The Participation of Female Students in Extra-Curricular Activities: A Study of the Situation in the University of the United Arab Emirates (Maitha al Shamsi)

This study aims at identifying the role of extra-curricular activities at the UAEU in satisfying the needs of female students, in affecting their personalities, and in helping them to adjust to a university environment. To achieve this aim, a number of subjects were investigated empirically through questionnaires and interviews. Other data related to these subjects were also collected and analyzed. The subjects studied were: i) the views of students regarding the importance of the activities; ii) the participation of students in the administrative staff of the academic associations; iii) the various types of activities (i.e. educational, psychological, and social) practiced by the students, and the relative advantages of each; iv) the favourite activities of the students and the reasons for this popularity; v) the role played by advisors in planning and supervising the activities; vi) the obstacles preventing the participation of students; vii) the role of administrators in organizing and developing the activities. The results of the study show that though students are fully aware of the extracurricular activities and their various merits, 63.5% do not participate in any at all. Among the reasons for this is the pressure of normal academic work, the failure of those in charge to encourage students to join, the absence of incentive, the inconvenient schedule of events, the failure of the various societies to properly organize and supervise the activities, the inadequate training of those in charge, and the absence of knowledge of which associations tie in with the student’s own field of study. Based on these results, some recommendations are listed to make these activities more effective. (Article in Arabic). 

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Information Science Studies in Lebanon: Origins, Present Reality, and Future Prospects (Hassana Moheiddin)

This study presents the state of the Information Science specialization first in general, then in the Arab world, and finally, and most particularly, in Lebanon. It deals with the origins and present condition of this field, as well as with its prospects in the future. The universities and colleges that offer this major in Lebanon have been identified, and the subjects taught recently in the Faculty of Informational Science and Documentation at the Lebanese University examined. Finally this study delineates the problems confronted in applying the major, and the solutions offered by professionals and other experts in the field. (Article in Arabic) 

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The Relationship Between the University and the State: The Case of the Lebanese University Institute of Social Studies (Hoda Rizk)

Nous avons fait le choix d’ étudier la genèse d’une institution et sa relation avec l’état – l’institut des sciences sociales - dont la création a débouché au cours des années 1960 au liban; sur l’emergence d’ une nouvelle pratique intellectuelle, metier du sociologue qui avait un role eminent du point de vue du pouvoir chéhabiste createur de cet intitution dans un but visant à instaurer une reforme au niveau économique et politique. la création de cet institution repondit à un projet et le but essentiel fut axé sur la formation des chercheurs dans le domaine du developpement socio-économique et politique .jeter donc les bases d un état moderne établis sur la science et la planification L’ année 1970 fut la fin officielle du chéhabisme , fin d’ une époque à L’échelle du pays tout entier. L’institut perdra dorenavent sa statut, et avec la guerre 1975 l’institut perdra le role et le but En fevrier 1976 et pour des motifs securitaires, le ministre de l’éducation signa le decret instituant les sections de l’université libanaise dans les quartiers Est de la capitale et ensuite au niveau de toutes les régions libanaises . Placé au centre du jeu politique, l’ l’u.l trouveront le méme sort et refléteront l’attitude de l’ état libanais à l’égard de ces institutions officielles –negligence, absence de planification ingérance Des politiciens et des partis politique dans les affaires administratives- (Article en arabe) 

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Ambiguous Beginnings: An Identity Crisis in Departments of English in Egypt (Hoda Sadda)

Departments of English in Egypt have always suffered from a major identity crisis. One of the consequences of this crisis is the well-noted discrepancy between the teachers' objectives and the student's expectations. The situation has become worse in recent years due to various political and economic problems, but the root of the problem goes back to the founding moment in the establishment of the departments. The seeds of the crisis were planted when the Department of English at Cairo University was founded in the early part of the century by English administrators when Egypt was a Protectorate under British rule. It was modeled on the Departments of English that had just come into existence at Oxford and Cambridge. It was staffed with English professors who proceeded to instruct Egyptian students in the glorious tradition of English literature. If we are to assume that there are always historical reasons for the institutionalization of knowledge, then we can agree with Terry Eagleton that the sudden need of the English to study their own national literature coincided with the disasters incurred by the First World War and the subsequent identity crisis of the entire nation. English Literature, which only ten years before was considered a subject fit for women, became in the 1930s the arena for discussing problems of existence. In this paper, I argue that Departments of English in Egypt have no well-defined aims, no philosophical structure and no raison d'etre. The fact that they were modeled on Departments of English in England, that the syllabus did not take into consideration the different requirements of a different context, that the production of knowledge in the Departments has no clear aim, no well-defined audience, and hence, no effective role to play in the Egyptian cultural, is proof of the underlying crisis experienced by both staff and students. I propose that we need a radical reconsideration and revision of the structure and conceptual framework of our Departments to be able to overcome this crisis and assume a more active role in the cultural scene. (Article in Arabic) 

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University Alumnae and the Job Market in Lebanon (Susanne Abourjeily)

En octobre 1998, l'Association Libanaise des Sciences de l'Education nous a chargés (Dr. Gaby Saliba et moi) d'étudier les conditions socio-professionnelles des diplômés de niveau Licence ou équivalent (promotion 1992-1993), cinq ans après leur graduation. Un échantillon représentatif a ainsi été composé au sein de six catégories de spécialisations, regroupant 399 femmes sur 652 diplômés (61% de l'ensemble). Ainsi, dans quelle mesure la formation universitaire de niveau Licence ou équivalent assure-t-elle des chances et une qualité d'emploi aux diplômées? La détention d'une Licence ou équivalent augmente les chances d'emploi et élargit l'éventail des choix professionnels de la diplômée, surtout dans les deux années post-universitaires, l'ôte complètement à la classe des ouvriers et la place dans les catégories des fonctionnaires ordinaires et des classes intermédiaires et, beaucoup moins qu'elle ne le fait pour les hommes, dans les classes supérieures. Elle n'empêche pas pour autant la féminisation des filières et des professions éducatives en premier lieu, puis de celles médiatiques et littéraires, et la prédominance des hommes dans les métiers industriels souvent réservés pour les sortants des Facultés de Génie et de Sciences exactes. Elle ne garantit pas pour plus que le cinquième des diplômées une stabilité professionnelle: rémunération légalement et économiquement inadéquate et instable, manque d'allocations sociales et de formation continue, incongruence entre la profession et la formation initiale, ce qui perturbe leur professionnalisation. La formation universitaire dote la diplômée de compétences transversales telles que la communication en langue étrangère, l'établissement de relations humaines, l'adaptation aux besoins du marché d'emploi, la construction de représentations professionnelles lucides, et l'auto-formation, beaucoup plus que de compétences techniques spécialisées. L'origine sociale détermine dans une large mesure la qualité des conditions professionnelles de la diplômée dans le marché d'emploi, qui valorise le diplôme pour sa fonction de "sélection des qualités comportementales et morales socialement souhaitées", et qui vont normalement se retrouver chez les plus favorisés, plus que pour celle de "certification des compétences professionnelles acquises". Il n'en demeure pas moins que l'insertion professionnelle de la diplômée est le fruit de toute une interaction psychosociale et d'une construction personnelle de sens. (Article en arabe) 

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Curricula in the Public and Private Arts Institutes in Lebanon: The Specialized Alumnae (Watfa’ Hamadi Hashim)

After a brief look at the history of theater in Lebanon, this study examines the curricula of the major academic training centers for actors in Lebanon, i.e. The IESAV (Institut des etudes sceniques, audio-visuelles et cinematographiques) at the Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut, ALBA (Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts), the Communication Arts Department at the Lebanese American University, the Department of Acting at the Lebanese University, as well as the Department of Theater attached to the Training Division of the College of Education also at the Lebanese University. In doing so, the paper establishes the points of contact and distance between the academic world on the one hand and the job market on the other, in the hope that such an examination might lead to a revision of the curricula in order to make them more useful to the professional, university-trained actor in developing his/her talent, while at the same time allowing him/her to use the knowledge and depth provided by the university to raise the standards of the commercial theater. (Article in Arabic) 

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University Training, Curricula, and the Role of the Professor: The Lebanese Model (George Nahas)

L’objectif de cet article est de clarifier la relation existante entre la méthodologie éducative et la didactique en vue d’un meilleur rendement au niveau du produit final de l’Université. L’état des lieux au Liban est pris en référence. Les professeurs de l’université détenteurs de diplômes de troisième cycle n’ont en général pas reçu de formation pédagogique malgré l’importance de leur rôle formateur. L’hypothèse de cet article est que l’absence d’une méthodologie compacte influe négativement sur le rendement universitaire. Le point de départ de cet article est que l’approche méthodologique dépasse l’adoption de techniques éducatives. Elle est ancrée sur la formation de l’esprit critique et l’acquisition du potentiel de construction des connaissances dans une atmosphère de liberté ouvrant la voie à la découverte et à la créativité. Le professeur est le garant d’une telle formation. L’article conclue en insistant sur l’importance d’une remise en cause profonde de l’approche éducative dans les universités et de l’adoption d’une politique de formation liant le travail universitaire à la recherche, à la liberté académique et à l’esprit critique. (Article en Arabe) 

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The Role of Arab Research Centers and Scholars in the Dialectic of Knowledge: The Mechanisms of Failure and The Future of Research in the Arab World (Abdel Jalil al Tamimi)

This paper starts out by recalling the glorious heights achieved by Arab/Muslim civilization in the past, and then goes on to seek an explanation for its failure in the last 50 years to achieve the criteria necessary for its continued advancement. In this, the paper concentrates on the role of scholars, universities and research centers in the Arab world. Among the reasons for the recent decline are the failure of the Arab states to provide the necessary material and political support for the advancement of knowledge; poor administration; the bad or non-existent relationship between the various research institutes; the absence of social recognition of true scholars and seekers of knowledge; the absence of adequate support infrastructure. The paper concludes by offering ways to redress this sorry situation. Among these are the clear definition of the respective responsibility of scholars, research centers, universities, and the state in providing true intellectual achievement in an atmosphere of academic freedom and the material conditions necessary for this achievement; a fruitful dialogue between scholars and administrators; and a new and clear strategy for the advancement of knowledge. (Article in Arabic) 

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Higher Education Reform in Morocco (Mouna Cherkaoui and Mohamed Berdouzi)

L’enseignement supérieur marocain s’inspire du modèle français. Depuis l’indépendance ce système a connu d’importantes transformations dictées par les besoins du pays en cadres dans les années suivant l’indépendance, par la pression démographique et par des considérations politiques. Les différentes réformes entreprises ont été conçues comme des réponses à des crises ponctuelles et n’ont pas toujours été l’expression d’une stratégie du savoir à long terme. La réforme actuelle vise à répondre au contraintes et lacunes du systéme existant. Si elle comporte des éléments indéniablement positifs, elle souffre d’un manque de “time table”, de précision quand au moyens financiers nécessaires à la conduite de la réforme et d’ordonnancement des priorités. Cette réforme , de plus, n’adresse qu’indirectement deux questions cruciales mais politiquement sensibles: l’assurance d’accès des bacheliers à au moins un établissement d’enseignement supérieur et le paiement des frais de scolarité. (Article en arabe) 

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Ibrahim Abu Lughod and Higher Education in Palestine: A National View (Najla Bashour)

Ibrahim Abu Lughod perceived higher education in the Arab countries in general, and in Palestine in particular, as an integral part of the processes of national unification, independence and modernity. Hence he believed it necessary to adapt its structure, curriculum, specializations and methods to these aspirations. Through this vision he saw the Open University – and specifically the Jerusalem Open University -- as a system that would suit the dispersed Palestinian people. He saw higher studies as the only means for producing trained manpower efficient enough to help build a modern society, and believed in an interdisciplinary approach within a cultural context. Abu Lughod also considered the training of future citizens in democratic techniques and in commitment to societies national, social and economic causes, as a necessary aspect of a university’s role. (Article in Arabic) 

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Additional Info

  • Volume: VII
  • ISBN: 9953-0-0041
  • Editorial Committee: Azza Charara Baydoun, Jean Said Makdisi, Fadia Hoteit, Raja Nehmeh
  • Year: 2000-2001
  • Pages: 431
  • Publisher: Lebanese Association of Women Researchers

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