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Modern University for Business and Science (Lebanon)
Modern University for Business and Science (MUBS) was founded in 2000 in Damour, the gate to the Shouf Mountain of Lebanon, under the name of MECAT. It was the brainchild of a group of intellectuals who had a vision for an educational institution that transcends religions and sectarian boundaries, cultural differences, and regional and local politics, to become an institution that the great potential of Lebanese students irrespective of their gender, religious, or political backgrounds.
The University grew steadily over the years attracting students from diverse groups and bringing higher education to students and regions of Lebanon that were neglected and forgotten. Over the years, MUBS was able to position itself as an institution that strives for excellence, modernity, internationalization, and community engagement.
MUBS mission is to provide a rich and innovative academic environment that provides students of diverse backgrounds with equal opportunities to learn, explore, and attain the knowledge and skills necessary to realize their career objectives and empower them to contribute positively and effectively to their community, country, and the world. MUBS works towards achieving SDG4 not only through providing quality education but to provide community members, youth in specific with the leadership and life skills needed to empower them for the betterment of their societies.
MUBS has established the National Wellness Network (NWN) that was launched to empower the sense of community service among populations living in rural areas. The NWN mission is to protect, preserve, and promote the wellbeing of the local community, as well as MUBS stakeholders, by providing integrated and comprehensive services.
NWN works on promoting wellness among MUBS students through adopting leadership programs and empowering girls to have an effective role in their communities (SDG5) through building partnerships with many stakeholders including European and American institutions, NGOs, municipalities, and local communities (SDG17). MUBS has received several grants from the European Commission, the British Council, US Embassy, MADAD for Women, World Health Organization and other agencies to work on projects related to youth engagement and women empowerment. Students play a crucial role in the projects implementation where MUBS provides them with the platform to actively engage as active citizens and link theories into practices. MUBS recent community engagement projects include:
Violence against women is an alarming challenge facing modern societies, especially those in third world countries and under-served communities. In response, a number of non-governmental organizations in Lebanon have been working to promote women’s rights to empower them and educate them and their communities. As part of this effort, the Lebanese Democratic Women’s Gathering (RDFL) and Euro-med Feminist Initiative (EFI) have joined forces with the National Wellness Network at MUBS and a number of other active community based organizations to promote women’s rights and gender equality. EM-Power, an NWN-led project designed to empower Syrian and Lebanese mothers and students living in rural areas has received funding through the “MADAD for Women” fund. EM-Power targets individual and collective transformation towards gender equality by raising awareness about women’s rights and encouraging learning, knowledge-building and skills-development of participants. The project also helps women and men understand the role gender relations and perceptions play in daily life. EM-Power trainees and participants will be able to mobilize the community and inspire other women and youth living in under-served areas to lead the push towards abolishing violence against women and promoting equality.
In the fall of 2018, Stanford and MUBS held a joint virtual exchange class on public health challenges among Syrian refugees in Lebanon, in which students from both institutions collaboratively developed potential interventions. The class culminated with seven capstone projects presented by the students. Each team included students from Stanford and MUBS, focusing on a challenge faced by refugees within informal settlements. Students were supported by local NGOs and Stanford professors, and their course leaders. A jury of experts from Lebanon and California selected Mothers United, an intervention that aims to strengthen the parent-child relationship to improve the child’s mental health. To support early child development, Mothers United is designed to empower mothers with communication strategies through interactive sessions.
Supporting School Health in Disadvantaged Rural Areas in Bekaa and Southern Lebanon
School health promotion programs are effective in helping students achieve health literacy, enhancing their health-related behaviors, and thereby improving their health status. However, in resource-limited countries, such programs are restricted to some sporadic initiatives. The aim of this project was to the school health program in its three components; medical screening, health education, and school health environment. The project was designed by the World Health Organization (WHO) Lebanon Country Office and implemented in collaboration with the Modern University for Business and Science (MUBS) in five public schools located in rural areas in Lebanon. . The socio-ecological model guided the intervention that adopted a holistic approach by targeting the students, the school environment, and the students’ parents. The project tackled student health through medical screening and E-Health Modules, addressed the school environment through an assessment of relevant environmental indicators, and targeted parents through health seminars about different child health related topics
MUBS, in partnership with and support of the British Council, launched HOPES program on Friday July 26th, 2019 at Spears Campus. The program will be taking place on three campuses Aley, Rashaya, and Spears. Learners within the HOPES program will benefit from language training, educational offers and academic counseling. By improving their language skills, learners will be able to pursue their university degree and select a major without language being a barrier. Over 50 students attended the launch event and had the opportunity to inquire about this life-changing opportunity being offered at MUBS. They had the chance to network among their peers, as well as University staff and British Council representatives.
Young Med Voices
Young people are at the forefront of change and innovation and many have the spirit to make things happen. They mostly need to be given the space to excel and grow. Young Med Voices have helped MUBS to provide youth living in rural areas with the platform to raise their voices towards the betterment of their societies. The Young Med voices jointly launched in 2011 by the Anna Lindh Foundation and British Council, YMV has already involved more than 80,000 young people in debating activities across Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. The program is built and delivered through partnerships with universities, schools and NGOs, ensuring the involvement of young people from diverse social and geographical backgrounds. Young Mediterranean Voices is a 3 year program, primed to become the central flagship regional youth network connecting civil society, education institutions and policy-makers across Europe and the Southern Mediterranean countries. The overall objective of Young Mediterranean Voices Program is to: “Empower young people to enhance a culture of dialogue, to contribute to public policy and shape media discourses, and to create a shared understanding with peers across the Mediterranean on how to address issues of common concern to their communities.
Barriers to Tertiary Education of Students from Vulnerable Communities in Lebanon
A team of researchers from the Department of Public Health at the Modern University for Business & Science (MUBS) was awarded a grant to launch a research study that addresses the high dropout rates and barriers to tertiary education of students from vulnerable communities in Lebanon. The study is a component of the “School to College Transitions among Vulnerable Youth in Lebanon” Project that is implemented by Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, in collaboration with the department of education at the American University of Beirut (AUB), which is supported by the Ford Foundation.
The study by the MUBS team will address the troubling matter of high dropout rates during the first year of post-secondary education that is usually related to challenges faced by students during a transformative period in their lives. The transition to university comes at a critical period of the youth’s life, which requires added effort of self-regulation and self-care; it is a period that is characterized by a shift from being dependent on their family, to independent, responsible individuals, who are held accountable for their behaviors and decisions. Therefore, the study will employ qualitative and quantitative approaches to better understand the challenges faced by both vulnerable and refugee populations in North Lebanon, Beirut, Mount Lebanon, and the Bekaa. The outcomes of this research project will serve to design an intervention that will result in decreasing the dropout rates in of at-risk students as they make the transition to higher education.