News & Media

December 3, 2012
USEK’s European Institutional Accreditation from evalag

On December 3, 2012, the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik organized a ceremony celebrating the European Institutional Accreditation granted by the Evalag Accreditation and Quality Assurance Agency. This event was sponsored and attended by the Minister of Education and Higher Education, H.E. Mr. Hassan Diab.

The Superior General of the Lebanese Maronite Order, Fr. Abbot Tannous Nehme, Assistant Generals of the Order, Rev. Fr. Neamtallah Hachem and Rev. Fr. Ayoub Chahwan, Mr. Chady Saad, representing MP Mr. Sleiman Frangieh, Presidents and representatives of universities and educational institutions, along with members of the University Council, teaching and administrative personnel and students, all responded to the invitation of the President of the University, Rev. Fr. Hady Mahfouz.

Following the Lebanese National Anthem, the Director of the International Affairs Office, Mrs. Rima Mattar, inaugurated the ceremony and stated that “Five years ago, when the University administration decided to undertake the institutional accreditation process, the challenge was immense”. She added that it was due to the great efforts that had been deployed, that the University celebrated this achievement.

The University Assistant to the President and Director of the Quality Assurance and Institutional Effectiveness Office, Dr. Georges Yahchouchi indicated that the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik had taken a hard choice, which turned out to be right decision, “…undertaking external evaluation in order to improve quality”. As a result, many changes have taken place, such as the establishment and empowerment of the Quality Assurance Office, focusing on the quality of teaching and learning, developing a better culture of evaluation, etc. Dr. Yahchouchi added that in 2010, USEK became the first non-European University to become a member of the European University Association (EUA), in the International Network of the Quality Assurance Agency in Higher Education (INQAAHE), and lately in the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in the USA. On top of all that, the Evalag Accreditation and Quality Assurance Agency had granted the University Institutional Accreditation for five years, proving that the deployed administrative and academic efforts served the institutional objectives and mission and go hand in hand with both the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance and the Evalag standards.

Mr. Harald Scheuthle, Evalag Project Coordinator for USEK Institutional Accreditation, presented an overview of the accreditation process and stated that Evalag had evaluated the University in general as well as quality assurance within it. He added that Evalag-Baden-Württemberg is an Accreditation and Quality Assurance Agency and is a public institution by virtue of law. Evalag is listed on EQAR (European Quality Assurance Register) and is a member of ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education) and EUA. Evalag is known as a Centre of Competence for quality assurance and enhancement and a source of support for Higher Education Institutions and other scientific institutions, with commitment to good quality in teaching and learning, research and other services. He concluded by congratulating the University for its success and expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Georges Yahchouchi for his professional organization of the visits and meetings.

The Head of the Expert Evaluation Commission for USEK, Prof. Dr. Brigit Schabler took the floor and spoke on behalf of the panel of experts. She praised the professionalism of the LMO superiors and confirmed that USEK had volunteered to face this challenge, stressing that this was of utmost importance in a highly globalized world, within which the University should excel in order to stand out. She mentioned the University’s strong points and characteristics that led to granting it the Institutional Accreditation for five years.

Following a short movie about the University, entitled “A Tradition of Excellence”, USEK President, Rev. Fr. Hady Mahfouz, reminded the attendees of the motto he had adopted when he took office: “Evolution in Communication” and said, “We have deep roots running from the LMO and the University is proud of its affiliation to this Order, which has a great History wherein it gave Lebanon so much. We will preserve this heritage.” He considered that this accreditation was not only an achievement, but also a step forward in the history of the Institution; asking God Almighty to give them strength to keep going in their evolution and excellent journey. Finally, Rev. Fr. Mahfouz thanked H.E. Mr. Hassan Diab for sponsoring this event and praised his efforts for aiming to establish a National Independent Commission for quality assurance in higher education.

The Minister of Education and Higher Education, H.E. Mr. Hassan Diab stated that, in light of the current challenges faced in the Arab region and the phenomenon of globalization that had reached all areas, it was necessary for a Higher Education Institution to adopt a strategic policy, in order to develop education and scientific research to cope with the latest developments in the educational field. He added that the Ministry was always keen to preserve freedom of education and to develop this sector. Therefore, the Ministry was working on many executive programs and draft laws; for example, but not limited to:

  • A new Higher Education Law, adopted by the Cabinet and by joint committees in Parliament;
  • Preparation of a draft law on the General Directorate of Higher Education;
  • Preparation of a draft law on the establishment of a National Independent Commission for quality assurance in higher education, adopted by the Cabinet and transferred to Parliament;
  • Sponsoring and organizing workshops on the governance of Higher Education Institutions undertaken by a group from the World Bank, including the participation of 16 educational institutions…

He added that many Higher Education Institutions in Lebanon were establishing Internal Quality Assurance Units and that some of them had been granted external accreditation from American and European international agencies.

Finally, the Evalag Institutional Accreditation Certificate, awarded to the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, was unveiled.

Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
Tel.: (+961) 9 600 000
Fax : (+961) 9 600 100
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