EU Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport

National Erasmus+ Office - Lebanon

 
 

Interview with Director of Centre MINE

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Centre MINE is a very active unit established at the Lebanese University in December 2018 with the support of the EU-funded Erasmus+ project RESUME about a Mediterranean Network for Employability. The Centre has proved itself despite the difficult circumstances of Lebanon and of the Lebanese University as a supporting unit for advising, training and capacity building. The NEO Newsletter has interviewed Professor Riad Makdessi, the Director of this Centre to learn more about its activities and future perspectives.

Q1. Is it possible to draw a brief picture about the history of the Centre, its foundation, establishment, location, administrative structure and staffing.

The Centre MINE (Centre de Métiers, d’INnovation et d’Entrepreneuriat) - Center for Careers, Innovation and Entrepreneurship - is initially the output of project RESUME (REseaU Méditerranéen pour l’Employabilité- Mediterranean Network for Employability) which was a capacity building project funded by the EU-programme Erasmus+ and coordinated by UNIMED. It aimed at enhancing and reinforcing the role and potential of HEIs in the development of employability in the Mediterranean countries by adopting a transversal entrepreneurial mind-set at the HEIs and by opening and structuring the dialogue among the universities, the enterprises and the policy makers. The LU was partner in this project that included 16 partners from 6 different countries.

The MINE was formally founded as an independent entity at the Lebanese University on 13 Dec 2018-Decree 4180. It is linked to the LU President Office and located at the Rafic Hariri campus-Hadath, Beirut. The centre works with the LU 19 Faculties and institutes over 64 geographical branches. It was founded by Prof. Selim Mekdessi, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration who was involved in the implementation of the project RESUME. Prof. Riad Mekdissi who co-founded the centre is currently the Director of the centre MINE. The Centre has 2 part-time employees, Hadi Rammal and Mahmoud Khaywe supported by many volunteers among professors and students.

Q2.  How much is the centre MINE institutionally supported by the Lebanese University and how much you are confident about its sustainability?

The LU is very confident about the need for the free services provided by Centre MINE to all LU students. The Centre has signed many MoUs with national and international partners to provide training, workshops, seminars to all LU students given by highly qualified experts.

Launching this project was a real challenge and we still need different kinds of support (website, funding, staffing, assets, automation, software, applications, …) in order to sustain our free of charge and high-quality activities and services.

 Q3. What is the mission and the objectives of the Centre as created by the Lebanese University?

The centre aims to:

  • Reduce the gap between the University and the world of business,
  • Improve the employability of students and their professional integration,
  • Develop the ability of innovation and creativity,
  • Spread the entrepreneurship culture at the university,
  • Create and activate the LU unit for behavioural enticement and guidance (Nudge),
  • Create and activate a business incubator for innovative projects,
  • Meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Q4.  By describing the main achievements of the Centre, is it possible to detail the types of services provided and the group of beneficiaries targeted by the Centre activities.

 The following figures give a quantitative idea about the achievements made in 2020:

  • 14065 beneficiaries (administrative and academic staff, students, LU alumni),
  • 2601 job vacancies published,
  • 2414 candidates were selected for job interviews,
  • 1347 recruiting companies were involved,
  • 269 FREE workshops, seminars and webinars were conducted,
  • 77 coaches and mentors provided services to Centre MINE,
  • 14 national, regional and international competitions and programmes were implemented.

Q5.  How does the University look at the future of the Centre and at its strategic and future plans?

The Centre MINE is a branding new image for the Lebanese University which helped its overall ranking in 2020 thanks to its diversified impactful projects and programmes. Most of the SDG are covered within the Centre MINE activities.

The LU looks at the Centre as a real Skills Mining Centre aiming to empower and support students at all levels making from them not only job seekers but skills providers.

 

More information about the Centre MINE can be found at the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/centremine/

https://www.instagram.com/centremine/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/centremine

https://www.youtube.com/centremine

https://twitter.com/centremine

Contact : centre.mine@ul.edu.lb

Address: Rafic Hariri Campus, Hadath, Main Entrance, Conference Hall Bldg., 1st floor