BEIRUT-----February 18, 2014-------The Notre Dame University - Louaize (NDU) in Zouk Mosbeh hosted HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of Talal Abu- Ghazaleh Organization and chairman of the Arab Organization for Quality Assurance in Education (AROQA), in a panel discussion and roundtable on the educational reality in various universities in the Arab world.
The discussion which was attended by Fr. Walid Moussa, president of Notre Dame University – Louaize, Parliamentarian and former Minister Jean Oghassabian, Dr. Suheil Matar- Public Relations director at the NDU and Board members of The Notre Dame University – Louaize tackled the means to develop and improve the educational standards in consistence with the information technology revolution. .
Fr. Walid Moussa: The efforts of HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh are a tremendous achievement
Fr. Walid Moussa welcomed attendees, considering “the visit of HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh to the NDU Campus as a remarkable contribution to the University’s expertise in the educational field in the Arab world”.
He said “The activities performed by HE Dr. Talal Abu- Ghazaleh, especially those related to Talal Abu -Ghazaleh University, are considered a tremendous achievement. We have common objectives that we can benefit from”.
He also indicated that “The Notre Dame University – Louaize started out as a small university then developed and expanded to include today around 7500 students. This number is distributed to seven colleges, including humanities, sciences and engineering. Such remarkable development of the NDU is highly dependent on the diligent endeavors made by the University’s staff throughout the past twenty seven years.”
Fr. Walid Moussa added that “The NDU’s mission is to serve humans in any place around the world and reconstruct them at the psychological, physical and spiritual levels. The NDU also seeks to promote good citizenship based on its values and ethics.”
HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh: Excellent Conference on Education
HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh expressed his pleasure to participate in this meeting and highlighted the principles communicated by the University’s staff to the students, saying that “I currently chair the Arab Organization for Quality Assurance in Education (AROQA) as well as the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN). These two organizations are under the umbrella of the Arab League. Accordingly and upon the request of the Arab leaders, we commenced serious efforts in the field of scientific research development with a view to improving the quality of education.”
Regarding the advantages of e-education, Abu-Ghazaleh said: “I believe that the traditional education shall come to an end and the best example is Stanford University which announced the cancellation of traditional curricula and replacing them with e-education programs. The information and communication technology has swept all sectors except education, so we should work on developing the quality standards of e-education and we, as Arabs, should lead such process.”
He added “We should pave the way for the future generation of students and we should explore the educational means that suit their capabilities, particularly that we entered the knowledge era where even a baby knows how to use the modern ICT.”
HE Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh stated that “As Google is the largest business company that is specialized in trading knowledge goods, we should direct our students towards the so-called “knowledge industry” which is only achieved by using knowledge technologies.” He also suggested holding a conference to further elaborate on such topics.
Welcoming the suggestion of HE Dr. Abu- Ghazaleh, Fr. Walid Moussa expressed his willingness to participate in any Arab or Lebanese conference tackling the education quality development, and invited HE Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh to participate in the “International Conference on Scientific Research” organized by the NDU after two weeks.
Discussion and Deliberations
The discussions and deliberations primarily focused on the following:
- A suggestion to establish the Notre Dame University - Louaize (NDU) as a research center under the supervision and sponsorship of Talal Abu- Ghazaleh Organization.
- Overcome obstacles related to teaching medicine and engineering materials through e-education.
- Solve the problem of illiteracy that is rampant in the Arab world, develop research centers to increase the knowledge productivity and create special programs to this effect.
Fr. Walid Moussa presented a shield to HE Dr. Abu- Ghazaleh, and a documentary film about the Notre Dame University - Louaize (NDU) was displayed.