Professor Amr Galal El Adawi, President of Beirut Arab University signed an academic mobility and cooperation agreement with the University of Montpellier and its Faculty of Science, represented by Professor Adam A. Ali, Acting Director of International Relations and Mr Gilles Guévellou, Administrative Director on Wednesday May 17, 2023 at BAU campus of Beirut. Montpellier is considered one of the world's leading universities in the field of Ecology and Environment Sciences according to the Shanghai index ranking. The signing ceremony was attended by Professor Ramadan Awad, Dean of Faculty of Science, Dr. Laurent Drapeau from the Institute de Recherche pour le Development (IRD), France, Ms. Lia Renaud, Chargée de Mission Universitaire et Scientifique from the French Embassy, Dr. Carla Khater from the Environmental Observatory O-Life, Dr. Safa Baydoun from BAU Research Center for Environment and Development (RCED), and Ms. Amani Bsat, Head of BAU International Relations office along with Dr. Ghada Khawaja, Assistant Dean and Dr. Mahmoud Khalil, Chair of Biology Department, BAU Faculty of Science, and a group of academic members and guests.
This MOU was facilitated by the project “International Postgraduate Studies in Environmental Management and Sustainability for Mediterranean Countries” at Faculty of Science of BAU. This project was funded by “Projets structurants de formation au Sud”, IRD and implemented in partnership with the Environmental Observatory O-Life, ECO-MED Environmental Consultants and RCED.
The MOU mainly aims at the development of a joint Professional Master's degree in "Environmental and Ecosystem Management" (EEM) at the Faculty of Science of BAU, guided by the best practices and expertise of the Master’s program of “Ingénierie en Écologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité (IEGB) at the Faculty of Sciences of Montpellier University. It also covers academic exchange of students and staff, scientific research cooperation and co-supervision of postgraduate students, organization of conferences, workshops and student internships along with other events.
Within the framework of this MOU, IRD continues to facilitate educational support, capacity building, and scientific cooperation of both universities through student and staff exchange, collaborative and joint research, and the organization of seminars and meetings.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Mr. Guévellou extended the appreciation of Montpellier university to the MOU and its importance in the historical and strong relations between France and Lebanon. He emphasized the key role of academic cooperation in Environmental and Ecological education in addressing complex challenges facing the management and conservation of natural resources as well as interactions and trade-offs inherent to the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Mr. Guévellou thanked all who contributed to making the signing of MOU a reality and wished to extend the cooperation to cover other potential programs.
Professor El Adawi opened his speech with welcoming words to Mr. Guévellou and Professor Ali and all participants at ceremony. He expressed BAU gratitude to the signing of MOU with Montpellier University emphasizing its importance in the historical relations between Lebanon and France. Professor El Adawi placed high value on the cooperation with Montpellier especially that Beirut Arab University is a member of the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF).
He acknowledged the profound contribution and influence of French Universities not only in Lebanon but also in many countries around the world. He also stressed the role the MOU can play in building capacities to address current pressing environmental challenges in Lebanon and support its efforts to meet sustainable development goals. Professor El Adawi ended by emphasizing that academic cooperation stands today as a necessity being a source of strength and a real investment in building knowledge based societies and making effective change in the lives of people.