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LAU has joined hands with the Lebanese Association for Educational Studies (LAES) and the Arab Educational Information Network (SHAMAA) to host a conference on Arab graduate programs in November 2013.

The conference, entitled “Graduate and Postgraduate Programs in Education in Arab Universities: Quality and Added Value”, will bring together researchers and academics to address quality-related issues in regional master’s and doctoral programs.

Speaking at a reception on January 25 to mark the agreement, LAU President Dr. Joseph G. Jabbra noted the three institutes shared a “common concern” to improve the quality of education in the region. “Working in tandem with organizations such as LAES and SHAMAA furthers LAU’s role as a research-intensive university, and keeps it at the forefront of academic excellence,” he said.

The conference, which will be held at LAU on 1-2 November, is one of the first of its kind in the region. It is open to researchers, teaching faculty members, and education graduate and postgraduate students from across the Arab world. According to LAES President Dr. Diane Nauffal, assistant professor at LAU and director of the university’s Institutional Research and Assessment office, the conference will provide an ideal platform to explore how rigorous master’s and Ph.D. programs are in the region.

“It will encourage interested parties to share best practices, give feedback and highlight central aims and issues in education,” she said. Participants will explore popular and neglected issues in Arab scientific research in the field of education, as well as the various research models, guidelines and approaches used by different institutions. The quality of theses being produced and methods for developing research in education will also discussed.

The upcoming conference is a step toward more ambitious plans for education at LAU, said Dr. Philippe Frossard, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. These plans, which are laid out in the university’s 2011-2016 Strategic Plan, include “developing a Ph.D. program in education,” he noted.

LAES develops, advances and disseminates educational knowledge through research, documentation and publication, and the organization of seminars and conferences. SHAMAA is a bibliographic database that provides free online access to educational publications produced in Arab countries.

A second memorandum between LAU and SHAMAA was signed during the reception, allowing SHAMAA to publish the abstracts of LAU students and faculty on its database. “This conference and the agreement between SHAMAA and LAU will facilitate the dissemination of regional educational knowledge and foster a cross-fertilization of ideas that will help to improve the quality of theses and dissertations coming out of such leading Arab institutions as LAU,” said Salwa Siniora Baasiri, chair of SHAMAA’s executive committee.

The deadline for the submission of papers is May 30. For more information about the conference, email