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The creation of the Lebanese University was an idea first mentioned in the speech of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hamid Frangieh during the closing ceremony of the Third UNESCO Conference in Beirut held on 11 December 1948, during which he said: "Lebanon hopes to see the creation of a Lebanese university having the spirit of UNESCO"

The establishment of the Lebanese University came as a result of a popular and student mobilization initiated on 23 January 1951 with a general strike that lasted for a long period during which, secondary and university students, mostly from Saint Joseph’s University participated. The movement included demonstrations and clashes with security forces that lead the Council of Ministers to meet on 5 February of the same year.

Since there is no real independence for a country without an official national university that preserves its cultural and scientific heritage, the year 1951 witnessed the creation of the first unit of the Lebanese University with the establishment of the Higher Normal School and the Institute of Statistics under the direction of Dr. Khalil Al-Jurr.

Soon after, Decree No. 25 was issued on 26 February 1953, stipulating the establishment of a Center for Financial and Administrative Studies that was affiliated to the University and later renamed the “Institute of Management and Finance”. The Decree also stipulated the renaming of the “Higher Normal School” with the “Higher Teachers Institution”.

The Lebanese University constituted this unit until 1959, when decree No. 2883 was issued on 16 December 1959 concerning the organization of the University. The first article stipulated the following: "The Lebanese University is an institution that performs the functions of public higher education in its different branches and degrees ...". However, the Statutes and Ordinances for the organization of the University, which established its academic, administrative and financial autonomy, were issued on 26 December 1967 under law No. 75/67. Following that, the work of the University Teaching Staff was regulated under Law No. 6/70 dated 23 February 1970, and the financial system was established on 14 April 1970 under Decree No. 14246.

Since its inception, the Lebanese University has been headed by

- Dr. Khalil Al-Jurr


- Dr. Fouad Afram al-Bustani


- Dr. Edmond Naim


- Dr. Boutros Dib


- Dr. Georges Tohme


- Dr. Michel Assi

(1988-1990 by delegation)

- Dr. Hashem Haidar

(1990-1992 by commission)

- Dr. Asaad Diab


- Dr. Ibrahim Qubaisi


- Dr. Zuhair Shukr


- Dr. Adnan Al Sayed Hussein


and it is headed by Dr. Fouad Hussein Ayoub since 2016.

The University awarded honorary doctorates to a number of heads of state and officials, including in chronological order:

- The Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi


- The King of Morocco, Mohammed V


- The Tunisian President, Habib Bourguiba


- The Senegalese President, Leopold Senghor


- The Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie


- The Romanian President, Nikolai Ceausescu


- The Armenian President, Robert Kocharian


- The Iranian President, Seyed Mohammad Khatami


- The Saudi Minister of Interior, Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud


- The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


- His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan


- The German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier


For the first time in its history, the Lebanese University started awarding in 2009 the honorary doctorate to Lebanese personalities, including:

Minister Fouad Boutros, Minister Ghassan Tueni, Minister Laila Solh Hamada, Former Head of Press Syndicate Mohamed Baalbaki, As-Safir's Editor-in-Chief Talal Salman, Governor of the Banque du Liban Riad Salamé, Archbishop Grégoire Haddad, writer and poet Salah Stétié, Architect Rahif Fayad, Professor Philip Salem, and artist Majida El Roumi.

Faculties and Branches:

The University issued successive decrees since its inception, establishing faculties and institutes, which contributed to its expansion and development until reaching 16 faculties:

-Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences

-Faculty of Law and Political and Administrative Sciences

-Faculty of Sciences

-Institute of Social Science

-Faculty of Fine Arts and Architecture

-Faculty of Pedagogy (which replaced the Higher Teachers Institution)

-Faculty of Information

-Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

-Faculty of Engineering

-Faculty of Agronomy

-Faculty of Public Health

-Faculty of Medical Sciences

-Faculty of Dental Medicine

-Faculty of Pharmacy

-Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management

-Faculty of Technology, in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in France

In addition to three Doctoral Schools:

-Doctoral School of Literature, Humanities & Social Sciences

-Doctoral School of Law, Political, Administrative and Economic Sciences

-Doctoral School of Science and Technology

The University is also affiliated with the Institute of Applied Sciences and Economics (CNAM-ISAE), which operates in cooperation with CNAM in France.

Until 1975, the University's faculties and institutes were located in Beirut and the suburbs, but the outbreak of the Lebanese war and the difficulty of commuting between the regions, led to the establishment of branches in the governorates of Mount Lebanon, North Lebanon, South Lebanon and Bekaa. However, programs, curricula, examination systems, teaching and certificates remained unified in all branches; and the Central Administration remained as well in its entirety in Beirut.

There are currently branches of faculties and institutes in various Lebanese governorates, except for Faculty of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Agronomy and the Doctoral Schools, which remain located in Beirut.

There are to date 79,000 students at the Lebanese University, making it one of the largest and most important universities in the Middle East.

The University is headed by a President and a University Council. The Faculty or Institute is headed by a Dean and a Faculty Council. The University Branch is headed by a Director and a Branch Council. The Teaching Staff carries out its syndicate activities through the Association of Full-time Professors.

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