American University of Beirut
Founded in 1866, the American University of Beirut bases its educational philosophy, standards, and practices on the American liberal arts model of higher education. A teaching-centered research university, AUB has around 800 instructional faculty and a student body of around 8,000 students. The university encourages freedom of thought and expression and seeks to graduate men and women committed to creative and critical thinking, life-long learning, personal integrity, civic responsibility, and leadership.
The university was granted institutional accreditation in June 2004 by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States and reaffirmed in June 2009. It includes six faculties: Agricultural and Food Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Architecture, Health Sciences, Medicine (which includes the Rafic Hariri School of Nursing), and the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business.
AUB currently offers more than 120 programs leading to the bachelor’s, master’s, MD, and PhD degrees. The university became coeducational in 1922 and its student body is 50 percent male and 50 percent female. The language of instruction is English (except for courses in the Arabic Department and other language courses). The student faculty ratio is 11.2 to 1.
The American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) is the largest private hospital in Beirut. It and other private hospitals in Lebanon provide 85 percent of healthcare in the country. Within minutes of the explosion in the Beirut port on August 4, 2020, its doctors, nurses, and medical staff were heading to the Emergency Department to prepare to care for the injured. In the first twenty-four hours, more than 500 casualties were treated at the medical center.
A 2020 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported AUBMC’s Disaster Response Fund, helping pay for the care of needy patients and repair damage sustained during the August 4 explosion. Although AUBMC was damaged, other hospitals closer to the site of the explosion fared much worse. Four hospitals had to evacuate their patients. The cost to repair the hospitals damaged by the explosion exceeded $150 million. AUBMC worked closely with colleagues at other hospitals in Beirut that sustained serious damage to help care for their patients.