July 31, 2019 – Under the patronage and in the presence of the Lebanese Minister of Economy and Trade, HE Mansour Bteich, Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade. The MoU comes hot on the heels of a collaborative project between the NDU students of COA 316 (TV Production Techniques for Advertising) and the Ministry to promote the importance and use of electric meters in Lebanon.
The agreement commits both NDU and the Ministry to cooperate on a variety of projects including: professional, scientific, and legal consultation; joint conferences; seminars given by the Ministry to NDU’s students; internships offered by the Ministry to NDU students; joint awareness campaigns on recent advancements in the relevant sectors; and topics put forward by the Ministry that NDU Master’s students can use for their theses.
The signing took place at NDU’s Abou Khater Auditorium between NDU President Fr. Pierre Najem, and Minister Bteich, in the presence of prominent NDU faculty and staff, and Ministry representatives including: HE Cesar Abi Khalil, Minister of Energy and Water; HE General Chamel Roukoz, MP; Alia Abbas, General Director of Economy and Trade; and HE Chawki Daccache, MP.
Presiding over the signing as Master of Ceremonies, NDU Director of Public Affairs and Protocol, Majed Bou Hadir, welcomed the attendees and introduced each speaker in turn.
First to the podium was Dr. Maria Bou Zeid, Chairperson of the Department of Media Studies – Faculty of Humanities. Dr. Bou Zeid talked about the project that the COA 316 students collaborated with the Ministry on, and how it strengthened avenues for further cooperation with NDU.
Dr. Bou Zeid was followed by Nancy El Ghoul, Senior Officer at the Department of Career and Placement – Office of Student Affairs. El Ghoul talked about NDU’s commitment to securing internships, and the University’s ability to place students in top companies: “We are targeting all industries and sectors locally and internationally.” El Ghoul placed particular emphasis on the growing number of internships and employment figures that NDU has been able to provide each year.
In his speech on the signing, Fr. Najem thanked the Ministry for its confidence in the University, saying that the MoU strengthens ties between the academic and public sectors. Fr. Najem reflected on NDU’s position as a student centric university, and spoke to the desire of its students to affect real change for the better.
Finally, Minister Bteich spoke, talking about how the Ministry “greatly valued the initiative” of the COA 316 students to educate Lebanese society about their rights, and to reinforce a more positive, proactive approach to improving daily life in the country. Regarding the MoU, Minister Bteich said: “we are keen to begin to exchange experiences and knowledge, and to cooperate on both theoretical and practical projects.” Minister Bteich concluded his speech by emphasizing the cooperation with the students because “they are our brightest future, our hope, and the driving force for real positive change in Lebanon.”