Its activities comprise educational, academic and cultural programs.

The University Loan Program

         This is the most important program in the Hariri Foundation. It makes it possible for students to secure loans that cover all or most of their tuition fees, housing accommodation, transportation, books, etc. according to their needs and on the basis of certain criteria.

Academic qualifications as delineated by the Hariri Foundation are based on:

  • An achievement test given in collaboration with the American University of Beirut (AUB)
  • The student's rank in his/her school
  • The student's Baccalureate grades
  • Entrance examination to AUB

         Parents' need for financial assistance to cover university fees based on a field questionnaire carried out by a body of specialists in the Hariri Foundation.

The yearly budget made available by the Hariri Foundation.

         The Hariri Foundation continues to grant loans to those who meet all of its conditions, particularly those based on success with good averages and regular attendance at all classes.

         In this respect, it is reported that up to June 1996 around 32,000 students were granted loans. They are distributed as follows:

Lebanon 20,322
US and Canada 3,100
France, Europe
and N. African Countries 5,626

Total 29,048

          In addition, 2,800 students joined the Special English Training Program.

Graduating Students from
Lebanon 12,258
US and Canada 1,721
France, Europe
and N. African Countries 2,546

Total 16,525

         Of these, there are 4,000 engineers and more than 1,500 doctors. The percentages in the other major fields of specialization are as follows:

Business Administration 22%
Engineering 18%
Medical Sciences 12.5%
Humanities 12%

         Others are distributed among the technical sciences, agriculture, law, political science, and the arts. However, around 3,800 students are still continuing their education in Lebanon and abroad, mainly in France and the US.

Still others have either discontinued their courses of study and dropped out or have failed to meet promotion or graduation requirements. This made it possible for the Hariri Foundation to grant loans to new applicants who could benefit from them. Lastly, others' courses of study were restricted by language proficiency, or they joined the Lebanese University and were therefore in no need of loans.

         The Hariri Foundation reaffirms its stand on the policy of the settlement of loans after students graduate and start working.

         Their return to the Hariri Foundation will reinforce the responsibility shared by all the present generations and those coming after them. They realize through their personal experience that they are better qualified to pave the way for others to benefit from foundation loans as the Hariri Foundation has done for them.

University Training Programs

         As a result of the civil war the level of foreign language acquisition suffered a lot, and consequently it affected the young generation drastically. Students became deficient in English and failed to meet the minimum score for admission. They were thus barred from joining the university although they qualified for admission in all other respects. To remedy this situation, the Hariri Foundation devised intensive language programs to make it possible for students to overcome the language barrier as a prerequisite to university admission. This program comprised the following components.

Special English Training

         In collaboration with AUB, the British Council, AMIDEAST, and the Lebanese American University (LAU), the Hariri Foundation managed in 1985 to send its students to the above institutions to become proficient in English. The program at AUB is unique because the foundation has arranged to have the SET program instructors join teacher training sessions in Cyprus every summer. The trainers are usually American or British TEFL experts. 

The Preparatory Year Program

         Hariri Foundation experts prepared this program and implemented it in 1986-87. Its aim was to help students continue their education in French in Lebanon or in France. The Hariri Foundation had previously sent 2,500 students in two groups to France to improve their French; and quite a number joined French universities, whereas others returned to Lebanon and continued their course of study here. This program was implemented in two centers: in Tripoli and in Beirut. Both centers were provided with the most advanced audio-visual equipment and were run by highly trained instructors in France.

         The length of the period one stays in this program is ten months (40 weeks) with an average of 40 sessions, half of which is devoted to intensive French language learning; the other half, for mathematics, sciences, with emphasis on laboratory applications.

2,777 students benefited from this program in France and 710 in Lebanon. Some of them joined French universities and technical institutes (IUT), whereas the others joined similar institutes in Lebanon. The program was discontinued in 1991 after the security condition in the country was restored. The Hariri Foundation then concentrated on granting loans to those students who continued their education in Lebanon.

University Student Training Program

         In 1985 the Hariri Foundation sent 144 university graduates, mainly engineers, to be retrained and to keep abreast of new developments in their respective fields after they had been given intensive English training. After one year of its inception, the program was discontinued as most of the applicants preferred to do their MA programs in their universities. Hence, there was no real need to continue such a program. 

The Medical Training Program

         The Hariri Foundation designed this program specifically for the benefit of Lebanese doctors who had completed their university education abroad and wished to continue their specialization in Lebanon. This program prepared the participants both linguistically and academically. It started operating in 1987 in collaboration with the AUB Medical School but was later housed in the Makassed Association Hospital. However, it continued to function under the administration of AUB itself. The period of study in this program, which combined theory and practice, is one year leading to postgraduate study in medicine. The number of those who have benefited from this program thus far is 126 doctors.

         Planning and guidance to make available various fields of specialization

         Having established a system for granting loans, the Hariri Foundation turned its attention to having a guidance program which will inform the many applicants of what is available on the market and what the needs of the labor market are. In spite of the unavailability of the required statistics necessary for future planning, the Hariri Foundation took the following steps to ensure the attainment of this objective.

         A study on current manpower and the needs of the labor market in both Lebanon and the Arabian Gulf states was conducted by TEAM at the request of the Hariri Foundation. 

         This 240-page study, in addition to its appendices, served a tremendous purpose in that it pointed out the fields whose labor needs have been satisfied and the others which are experiencing shortages. Hence, the students were well-advised of the market needs which would help them choose the appropriate careers.

          A list that comprises the various fields of specialization available in US and European universities was prepared. It contains ten major parts, which include several sub-specialties; and the Hariri Foundation has adopted it in guiding its students as well as in gathering informative statistics since 1987. 

         The needs for specific fields in the various parts of Lebanon were delineated, particularly in medicine and engineering.

         Along those lines, the granting of loans was directly influenced by those needs, by the number of students the Hariri Foundation had sent abroad for further study, and by the availability of different specialists in the part of the country where they are badly needed. This ensured that the basic human and development needs of each region are well accounted for.

Career Guidance Program

         It has become evident to the Hariri Foundation that quite a number of students change their majors after a year or two at their universities. This is largely due to lack of counselors in high schools to guide students in their choice of careers. To remedy this situation, the Hariri Foundation took the following steps:

         It had an agreement with AUB which stipulates that a career guidance center will be established at AUB whose basic functions include the following:
a- Assist the SET program students in discovering their own interests, backgrounds and capabilities to choose the proper career. Through various sessions, the students are made aware of which careers exist, what they are, and the prescribed course of study that pertains to each.
b- Make students aware of the fact that they should select the field of specialization that suits their own potentials and their previous preparedness in that field. Elements that relate to parents' wishes, their friends' influence, financial income or social status should not be considered when choices are made.
c- Plan on having career sessions for Hariri Foundation secondary school students as well as for those from other secondary schools in Beirut, Tripoli and Sidon. These meetings are meant to engage students in the act of discovering their own personal interests.

         The Career Guidance Center provided the following services:
- Guided more than 5,200 students from Hariri Foundation schools and those attending the SET Program at AUB to pursue the course of study that suits their abilities and interests.
- Acquired audio-visual references on technical education that introduce many technical fields of specialization.
- Planned panel discussions on various careers in the labor market relating to press, information, medicine, languages, education, teaching, social work, industry, law, jurisprudence, engineering, etc. Experts in the field participated as panelists.
- Organized yearly meetings between students and university officials for this purpose.
- Prepared detailed studies on the different university fields of specializations and made them available them to students.

         The Career Guidance Center published a book called The Future Is of Your Choice.
It has become available to high school students all over Lebanon as a reference source on careers and areas of specialization in the world. It is in ten parts: the first delineates the fields of specialization in Lebanon, whereas the other nine provide information on 550 specialties, such as engineering, business administration, medicine and the like.


Hariri Foundation