The Student Union at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) took an initiative to request a meeting on September 28, 2017, in Pierre Bou Khater Hall, with NDU President Fr. Pierre Najem and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at NDU Dr. Elie Badr to speak on behalf of the student body and to underscore student’s complaints, regarding the increase in tuition fees.
“Transparency is a key feature of quality,” Fr. Najem said. He also said that NDU strictly abides by its mission and that NDU students earn a degree from an accredited institution that has worked hard to become one of Lebanon’s leading universities. Fr. Najem added that NDU students should be proud of their University’s high educational standard. He said, “We have faith in you, and we look forward to the day when you show the world what NDUers are capable of because we believe that every one of you has untapped potential.” Fr. Najem continued that work study grants given by the Office of Student Financial Aid and scholarships to eligible students will be reviewed again.
Dr. Badr said NDU’s motto is “no student is left out,” and that fostering quality instruction in higher education is a necessity. A student raised a concern, regarding the high number of Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC). Dr. Badr replied by emphasizing the importance of the LAC that had an established place in the US higher education system, as it helps to shape a virtuous, ethical, knowledgeable, and articulate individual. And another student suggested considering a flat rate for tuition, which covers a minimum and maximum number of credits per semester. Fr. Najem and Dr. Badr were extremely flexible when it came to this proposition.
Students also raised concerns regarding a possible increase in tuition fees next year; Fr. Najm explained that the management will internally evaluate the current situation and accordingly decide what will be implemented for next year. Both Fr. Najem and Dr. Badr stated that students will be informed ahead of time of any internal decision taken.
Students put forward many opinions during the course of the meeting and sought to work with the administration to find solutions. Fr. Najem explained that any student is welcome to visit him to discuss any issue that could arise.
Finally, Fr. Najem added, “We are always here to guide, support, aid, or assist any and all NDU students.”