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Need for harmonization of university specializations and the job market in the context of rising youth unemployment


Al Mustaqbal newspaper published an article on the crisis facing young university graduates in attempting to deal with the job market, and whereas the supply of graduates is higher than demand both quantitatively and qualitatively.  This concerns traditional specialties such as medicine, law practice and engineering as well as new specialties such as ICT,
The report noted the absence of strategies by decision makers in the educational sector in order to match market demand with supply as well as an absence of a vision to guide educational orientation and so as to boost the economy and the job market amidst a deterioration of the overall economic situation as a result of the current insecurity and poor attention given to productive sectors.
The above is reiterated by the president of the League of Lebanese University Professors, Dr. Charbel Kfoury who noted that students often choose certain specialties such as business administration, pharmacy and engineering without any proper orientation despite the fact that the acceptance levels in these specialties are very limited.  Furthermore, the majority of students are channeled into specialties that do not require entrance exams without due consideration of the needs of the job market.
Within the same vein, the Dean of the faculty of Pharmacy at Lebanese university, Dr. Pascale Salameh added that despite the fact that work opportunities vary greatly according to specialties, emphasis in the her university remains on quality and on building skills that will facilitate job access.  The Dean of the Doctoral School of Sciences and Technology, Dr. Zeinab Saad noted that all the specialties offered by the Lebanese university meet the demands of the local and regional job markets and, as a result, many students are able to secure jobs in international companies.  She also added that a number of faculties in the Lebanese university organize several training seminars to introduce students to the job market and the university is continuously liaising with various economic sectors as well as with industrial companies in order to identify their needs and familiarize students with existing job opportunities.
Finally, Dr. mohammad shayya the previous Dean of Social Sciences, Tourism and hotel Management faculty stressed that each university must have, by default, an orientation service and should also monitor economic, scientific and cultural trends and changes both locally and regionally and accordingly undertake academic planning every 4 to 5 years.
Source: Al-Mustaqbal 14 September 2013

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