A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was recently signed between the American University of Beirut (AUB) through its Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS), and Texas A&M University, including Texas A&M University at Qatar and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.
The purpose of the MoU is to set forth increased collaboration, co-operation and interaction between both institutions, covering research agreements under the water, food, energy, health framework, teaming agreements, nondisclosure agreements, visiting scientist agreements and more, according to a press statement.
The signing event was attended by AUB provost Mohamed Harajli, FAFS dean Rabi Mohtar, Faculty of Arts and Sciences dean Nadia El Cheikh, associate dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs at the Faculty of Health Sciences Jocelyn DeJong representing Dean Iman Nuwayhid, associate dean at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) Salah Sadek representing MSFEA dean Alan Shihadeh; and Texas A&M at Qatar dean Dr César Octavio Malavé and Dr Hassan S Bazzi, associate dean for Research and Executive Director of Development, Engagement and Outreach.
The MoU will assist in enhancing the learning experiences of undergraduate and graduate students and researchers by offering access to expertise and facilities that both universities have.
Mohtar said, “Texas and the Middle East and North Africa share a lot of common ecological similarities in terms of water, agriculture and energy systems. They also share common stresses from urbanisation and population growth. Texas A&M and AUB have significant expertise in agriculture, food, water, energy and health and they also share values of service and responsibilities.”
Through this MoU, the two universities intend to integrate and complement their capabilities available for the creation of strategic plans in order to promote research partnerships with focus on food-water-energy nexus and energy conservation systems. They also plan to set up opportunities for student exchanges; define projects and pursue collaboration in areas of interest to the institutions; as well as encourage collaboration and cooperation on projects involving faculty and researchers.
Dr Malavé said, “At Texas A&M at Qatar, we educate engineering leaders who are equipped with the technical and professional skills to lead Qatar’s transformation into a knowledge-based economy. A key component in producing these talented engineers is providing opportunities for our students to experience a variety of countries and cultures and get to immerse themselves in cultural exchanges. This partnership with American University of Beirut will open new doors for our students to partake in these transformative educational experiences.”
Bazzi added, “We are very pleased to formalise this partnership between these prestigious institutions. Increased international collaboration and co-operation will benefit our students by providing them opportunities to study abroad and broaden their personal and professional horizons, and allow the universities to expand student recruitment programmes at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”
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