An Education Forum
Why The Civic Role of Arab Universities Should be Re-Considered?
Friday, February 5, 2016
AUB- West Hall, Auditorium A
In addition to their teaching and research roles, Arab universities are playing differently a civic role. This could be tracked through the amount and content of knowledge and values provisions related to: humanities and social sciences (or liberal arts), culture of lawfulness, democracy, citizenship, and civic engagement. To these five dimensions, an educational one could be added, that is, the pedagogy of inquiry and argumentation. How do these six dimensions embody the concept of a civic role? This is the first question of the intervention. The second question could be formulated as follows: Why is the civic role of universities so important nowadays and why should it be considered officially as a third role? The third question evokes the priority that should be given to this role in the Arab context. In fact, the rise of the “Arab Spring” and the dramatic events that followed in some Arab countries were behind the emergence of the whole issue of civic role and the revisit of the roles of Arab universities. Looking at how things evolved in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria-Libya-Yemen-Iraq leads us to think about the role that has been played by higher education system in the elite formation (all majors included). These elites seem to have been involved in the events in a civic, religious, or military way, depending on the political culture that prevailed in each society (where higher education lies at the core). The different factors, challenges, and opportunities of the civic role seem to be of top priority for a critical examination of the Arab universities.
Presenter: Dr. Adnan El Amine
Dr. Adnan El Amine is currently the president of the Lebanese Association for Educational Studies (LAES). He was among its founders in 1995 and served as its president for nine years. He also initiated the idea of founding the Arab Educational Information Network (Shamaa) and was one of its founders as an Arab NGO in 2010. Dr. El Amine graduated from the Lebanese University in 1971 and obtained his doctorate in Sociology of Education from the Sorbonne University-Paris in 1977. He obtained as well a "Doctorat d'État" in the humanities from the Sorbonne in 1991. He was full professor at the Lebanese University until 2008. Dr. El Amine is the author of 21 books and 38 papers and chapters published in Lebanese, Arab and international journals and books.
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