The higher-education system, made up mostly of private institutions, is strongly influenced by those of France and the United States.
Over the past half-century, Lebanon has embodied promise and despair. The small, mountainous country on the Mediterranean gained independence from France in 1943 but was mired in civil war from 1975 through 1990, a period during which Israel, Syria, and the Palestinian Liberation Organization effectively used its territory as an arena for their disputes. The country then underwent major reconstruction, but in 2006 much of its infrastructure was destroyed during 34 days of fighting between forces of Israel and the Hezbollah militia; more than 1,000 civilians were killed. Since then most of the militias have disbanded, and a power-sharing agreement has ensured that the country’s major religious blocs–Christian sects, Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Druze, and others–are represented in the government. The capital, Beirut, once known as "the Paris of the Middle East," has been celebrated in the region for its cuisine and nightlife.
There are sharp local contrasts in the country’s climatic conditions. Lebanon is included in the Mediterranean climatic region, which extends westward to the Atlantic Ocean. Winter storms formed over the ocean move eastward through the Mediterranean, bringing precipitation at that season; in summer, however, the Mediterranean receives little or no precipitation. The climate of Lebanon is generally subtropical and is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, humid winters. Mean daily maximum temperatures range from the low 90s F (low 30s C) in July to the low 60s F (mid-10s C) on the coast and low 50s F (low 10s C) in Al-Biqāʿ in January. Mean minimum temperatures in January are in the low 50s F on the coast and the mid-30s F (about 2 °C) in Al-Biqāʿ. At 5,000 feet (1,524 metres), the elevation of the highest settlements, these are reduced by about 15 °F (8 °C).
Nearly all precipitation falls in winter, averaging 30 to 40 inches (750 to 1,000 mm) on the coast and rising to more than 50 inches (1,270 mm) in higher altitudes. Al-Biqāʿ is drier and receives 15 to 25 inches (380 to 640 mm). On the higher mountaintops, this precipitation falls as heavy snow that remains until early summer.
Overview of Higher Education
The system of higher education in Lebanon is made up almost exclusively of private institutions strongly influenced by the postsecondary-education systems in France and the United States.
Depending upon the institution, the primary undergraduate degree is known as the licence, bachelor’s, maîtrise, or diploma. It typically requires three to five years of study. Students of medicine are awarded a professional degree, called the doctorat, after seven years.
About 187,000 Lebanese students were enrolled in universities in 2007.
(Sources: BBC, The Europa World of Learning)
Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes
Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 41
Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (private/non-state): 40
Number of Higher Education Students
Number of students enrolled: 197,000
Number of international students enrolled: 1,970
Directorate General of Higher Education (DGHE)
Habib Abi-chahla Square – Beside UNESCO Palace, Beirut - Lebanon
Web site: http://www.higher-edu.gov.lb