LAU Further Boosts Strategic Pillar to Move Beyond Borders

LAU secures a consulting contract with Sanofi Levant, extending the university’s footprint beyond borders.

By Chirine El-Mchantaf

LAU’s tailor-made programs for executive and staff development demonstrate the impact of the university’s mission.

In line with the third pillar of its strategic plan that aims to transform LAU into a university with academic and professional footprints well beyond Lebanon, LAU continues to collaborate in forging successful academia-industry partnerships.

Recently, LAU Consult, the Adnan Kassar School of Business (AKSOB), and Continuing Education (LAU CE) partnered with Sanofi, a global pharmaceutical company, on the Sanofi Development Program (SDP).  The program is a first for Sanofi in the Levant and offers the company’s sales and medical representatives, and field, marketing, and key account managers in the Levant (Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Palestine) custom-made three-year training per business unit and per market.

“LAU and Sanofi are partners in developing the capabilities of the company’s teams locally and regionally, whereas LAU Consult, LAU CE, and AKSOB are fully aligned to serve the needs of our partner within our value system and our academic and management capabilities,” said Dr. Walid Touma, LAU Consult director.

“This pushes the boundaries of education beyond the university and country’s borders, and reaches globally with its quality programs, faculty, consultants, staff, and systems to provide world-class education to Sanofi and its staff worldwide,” he said. “We have finished our Levant consulting engagements and recently begun the implementation of the developed training journeys. We are looking forward to expanding our engagement with Sanofi to the MENA region.”

“Such tailor-made programs for executive and staff development demonstrate the impact of the university’s mission and help mitigate the consequences of the Lebanese economic crisis on our students, and LAU as a whole,” added Dr. Touma.

He also explained that LAU’s expert consultants have been carefully selected to synergize rather than aggregate, “which enables us to grow and expand further our services and our value proposition to clients globally.”

LAU Consult is active on many international fronts, with projects and initiatives in the Levant, including Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, and Oman, the US, and soon Turkey.  

“These programs and consulting engagements cement LAU’s role as a leading academic institution in the MENA region,” said Dr. Touma. “With the online shift to delivering high-quality education, the university’s top schools are currently competing with others on a global level, making our need for a competitive edge much higher, and our delivery of very high standards of quality education and training much required.”

AKSOB Dean Wassim Shahin underlined how the LAU-Sanofi partnership is directly aligned with the school’s vision to become a top provider of entrepreneurial and corporate education in the MENA region.

“Such partnerships serve to sharpen the school’s image as a creator of new knowledge through mature and experienced students, experiential teaching methods, new learning skills and stronger university-business-industry ties and connections,” he said.

“We have been leaders in executive education for the past 25 years catering to university-industry partnerships and our academic emphasis on executive education and experiential learning,” he added, stressing the importance of the ongoing corporate and strategic alliances that fulfill the school’s strategic executive education plan.

Director of Continuing Education Charbel Azar remarked on LAU’s constant efforts to establish partnerships with various communities of practice, saying the university is well equipped to develop bespoke training and development systems for its partners.

Programs and partnerships such as Sanofi’s “reflect our mission to educate people directly on the job, by equipping them with the tools and techniques they could apply in their everyday tasks,” said Azar.

The program also enhances LAU’s adult learner capabilities. “LAU is a university that serves everyone, regardless of age, position, or occupation,” added Azar. “LAU Continuing Education in particular is one such essential pillar of the university’s offerings, whereby customized development programs and short courses are an upcoming trend in education.”

Moreover, LAU Consult, LAU CE and AKSOB collaborated so that each workshop counts toward one EMBA credit.

“I believe this collaboration is exactly what the university needs. Each party brings certain strengths to the table, and when efforts are joined together and processes streamlined, a beautiful synergy emerges and a lot can be achieved with it toward implementing our current strategic plan,” Azar concluded.