University Scenes

What makes the huge difference between Lebanese-universities and foreign –specifically American- universities in Lebanon?

Despite being located in the same country, and being adaptable to accept all sorts of students, yet we find different scenes in different university, in accordance with the identity of that certain university.

Lebanese universities tend to have pourer supplies, perhaps the medical labs, or even food cafeterias, are not of great quality in the local campuses. That is not because these universities do not provide good enough education, on the contrary, the Lebanese University degree is one of the hardest to obtain, but it is because of the poor budget given to these campuses. The yearly tuition of students is very low, and for that, the university does not have much income expected from these tuitions, but it relies on the budget provided by the government. The Lebanese government, being already in debt, cannot afford to give much importance or supplies to this University. The professors teaching at Lebanese University seem to be on a strike most of the time, because they are not receiving good enough salaries.

Local universities other that the Lebanese University might be of better shape, and that is due to that their supplier is not the government or any official part, but it is a private owner who funds his/her university from his/her own business. The tuition of these private universities as so called is also higher than that of the Lebanese university, and for that, they find themselves more able to afford facilities and extra activities on campus.

Foreign universities, on the other hand, are the most expensive to attend. Being part of an international program, offering degrees from outside colleges, offering a bigger variety of majors and professors are few of many reasons why these universities are the dream of every high school graduating student. Yet what stands between these students and being part of these campuses is the price and the rate. Even though they offer scholarships, yet not everybody can get one, and if wanting to attend with no scholarship, the tuition is extremely high for middle-class students. As for the rating, you have to have a certain GPA to be part of these universities, which Is something I agree on, because a high-level educational center wants only the elite.

Yet the real difference that is simply seen with the naked eye, without having to go deep into the recommendations and tuition fees, is the prestige. Being part of an American university carries a lot of appearances responsibility with it. You have to dress a certain way, only from certain brands, and speak a certain language. If you wanted to fit in, you must have traveled a certain number of countries, and your dad has to own some kind of a big business.

It is a sad scene, since students should be evaluated and accepted in a certain group according to their educational level. The love of outside appearances in foreign universities is not accepted, because some high-GPA students who went in on a scholarship, but are not as rich or popular, deserve a chance not only to be accepted in classes, but also on campus among their peers.

During a two-week experience in Ohio University, I was delighted to see how students were. They did not ask about the financial background of each other, they were all peers and friends on one campus, studying and working and enjoying their time. Perhaps a lot of faults appear, but this very naïve thought of evaluating each other according to how much money they had was not there.

Perhaps Ohio University has more financial abilities to own such a campus, and to have all the facilities it does, but the part that matters is not what the budget of the college is, neither what kinds of activities it includes, but the types of students who all together are very open to each other.


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