In the last edition of our 2020 newsletters, we closed the year with a very gloomy expectation without excluding the hope that 2021 would bring some light at the end of the tunnel. It seems that in 2021, the worst is yet to come at all levels with no exception for the higher education sector. Lebanese universities working in a complete void in terms of state vision and policies are struggling to survive with all kind of challenges and calamities.
The Lebanese HE sector is facing one of its most serious and existential challenges of its history. The financial crisis that has been hitting the country continues to inflict its clear and painful impact on the sector and creates a strained relationship between the different stakeholders of each HE institution, namely the administration, the staff and the students. This crisis has been leading to an escape of Lebanese brains and skills out of the country in the search for a better condition of survival.
The continuing spread of Covid-19 and the weak response that Lebanon can afford within its limited resources has deepened the uncertainty regarding the future plans and measures that have to be adopted by the educational authorities. The hybrid mode of delivery that has been implemented by the different Lebanese sectors of education without a clear guiding strategy at national level would certainly question the quality of this mode of delivery.
The situation in Lebanon has drawn the attention and the concern of many parties from international community. The latest is the call of the International Support Group for Lebanon which met in Beirut on 11 March 2021 in which the ISG reiterated its urgent call for Lebanon’s leaders to delay no longer the formation of a fully empowered government capable of meeting the country’s urgent needs and implementing critical reforms. The ISG reiterated its firm and continuing support for Lebanon and its people (Read the full statement at this link).