September 25, 2020 – The Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) at the Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) Ramez G. Chaghoury Faculty of Arts, Architecture and Design (FAAD) is now recognized by the French Ministry of Culture as being equivalent to the “Diplôme d’État d’Architecte Français”.
The plan to acquire equivalence began in the 2017-2018 Academic Year, when NDU alumni Michel Iskandar (B.Arch.’16) brought the request to the French Ministry of Culture, procured the required forms, and sent them to NDU so that future graduates could benefit from it. The process was then undertaken by Dr. Elie Badr, NDU’s Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), Dr. Jean-Pierre El Asmar, Professor and Dean of the FAAD at the time, Dr. Christine Mady, Assistant Professor Chairperson of the Department of Architecture (DoA) at the time, Dr. Richard Mitri, Assistant Professor at the DoA, Jihane Keyrouz, Secretary to the Chairperson at the DoA, and several of NDU’s administrative offices. After a rigorous evaluation process, where every aspect of the degree was examined, the equivalence was secured.
In a letter to the NDU VPAA, , Frederic Gaston, Assistant Director of Higher Education and Research in Architecture at the Ministry, said, “The details provided enabled [the National Commission for the Recognition of Professional Qualifications] to issue a favorable opinion on recognizing the Lebanese Bachelor of Architecture from the Department of Architecture at the Ramez Chaghoury Faculty of Arts, Architecture and Design at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU).”
“This international recognition of our architecture program demonstrates that our Department, Faculty and University, are one of the best in the country,” said Dr. Habib Melki, Associate Professor and Interim Dean of the FAAD. “Our students, many of whom are French educated, have expressed their excitement about the splendid news and are grateful for all the efforts that were undertaken to make it happen.”
“This recognition enables our graduates to continue their studies or work in France with the right to be included in a regional registry of the National Order of Architects,” said Dr. Karen BouJaoudeh, Associate Professor and current Chairperson at the Department of Architecture. “With the historical and cultural ties between France and Lebanon, this recognition will give our graduates the opportunity to nurture and deepen this relationship.”
“Our students have proven to be successful in any environment and France is a target country for them to excel. This is a great opportunity for them to integrate within the European professional architectural job market and we are certain that this will open new avenues of success for them,” said Dr. Mady.
“The recognition by the French government is a milestone in NDU’s efforts by faculty members and administration to be recognized internationally,” said Dr. Hani Zgheib, Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture.
Ms. Layla Jabbour, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Architecture, reflected on the recognition saying, “In such delicate times, this announcement is a beacon of hope for both students and instructors.”
The B. Arch. degree is recognized starting the 2018-2019 Academic Year and remains valid for five years, before it goes up for renewal.