From October 11th to 13th, the monitoring and closing event of the StEER-Leb project took place in Lebanon. This face-to-face meeting allowed the partners to reflect on the project’s activities, best practices and results. It was also the occasion to discuss the sustainability of the project.
In Lebanon, student representation is, in most cases, based on traditional political divisions, themselves based on regional politics and influences. Students usually identify themselves as belonging to a certain political family, a choice depending mainly on deeply-rooted family habits and traditional affiliations. This situation therefore ignites frequent confrontations between groups of students during student elections and in-between. European universities and their developed and diverse systems of student representation bodies can be considered great role models and mentors in the development of these structures in Lebanese universities, given their experience and expertise on the matter. This is what the StEER-Leb project envisionned: an exchange of good practices and mutual growth.
During the closing event, three monitoring visits took place at each Lebanese partner universities: USEK, LAU and USJ. The highlight of this final event occured in the presence of the Minister of Education and Higher Education for the launch of the National Advocacy Campaign and the signature of the National Student Lebanese structure statutes. This was done in parallel with the launch of a student national structure, one of the main achievements of Steer-leb as it will benefit further generations of students and will be opened to all Lebanese universities.
Overall, the StEER-Leb project boosted student empowerment, engagement and representation in Lebanese universities. Within the frame of this project, European and Lebanese universities successfully exchanged their experiences and shared good practices through shadowing visits, capacity-building activities, development of StEER structures and a MOOC!