Social IssuesOct 31, 2022
Surviving the Crises: Lebanon’s Higher Education in the Balance
- Bassel Akar
Since the eruption of the economic crisis in 2019, Lebanon has fallen into a downward spiral that has destabilized the higher education sector. Over the past three years (2019-2022), reports and headlines on almost any situation in Lebanon have been contextualized within a state of economic collapse, political uprisings, social exclusion, poverty, corruption, migration, and violent struggles for diminishing resources.
At the epicenter of these struggles has been higher education. While a few universities appear to be recovering, others continue to struggle. The existential crisis of Lebanese higher education threatens the resilience, recovery, and sustainable development of a nation made fragile by sectarian tensions, corruption, gross mismanagement, and a history of internal and regional armed conflict. This brief examines how universities are coping with the financial meltdown and offers recommendations for the higher education sector to survive multiple crises.Bassel Akar is an Associate Professor of Education at Notre Dame University - Louaize, Lebanon and Research Associate at the Center of African Studies, University of Porto, Portugal.