Project by Arab Institute for Women Earns LAU an International Award

The university has been named Leadership and Management Team of the Year in the first-ever edition of the Times Higher Education MENA Awards.

By Dana K. Haffar

LAU President Michel E. Mawad received the award at the ceremony in Abu Dhabi accompanied by Provost George E. Nasr.

The inaugural Times Higher Education MENA Awards 2023 has recognized LAU as the “institution that demonstrates the greatest breadth and depth of leadership and management skills,” winner of the Leadership and Management Team of the Year Prize.

LAU was one of only 10 universities and 75 finalists awarded for excellence in the same number of categories. Its winning entry laid out an innovative project by its Arab Institute for Women (AiW) titled “Equality for Everyone: Gender Reform from Grassroots to Government,” to reform parental leave in the private and public sectors, with a focus on policy change on the national level. LAU became the first organization in the country to adopt this policy, by extending maternal leave and instituting paternal leave.

“In a tightly contested category, LAU detailed and provided evidence of the impact of its work to advance women’s empowerment and gender equality nationally, regionally and globally, through research, education and outreach,” stated THE.

AiW Director Myriam Sfeir said that the award was “but an affirmation that a small yet mighty academic institute like the AiW – that has been working at the intersection of academia and activism for the past 50 years – can play a huge role in exacting change and contributing to the success and progress of our LAU.”

Out of 300 entries from 17 countries or territories in the MENA region, LAU had also made the shortlist in other categories: International Strategy of the Year, Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Leadership, Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Leadership, Teaching and Learning Strategy of the Year and Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year.

Dubbing them the “Oscars of Higher Education,” THE’s Chief Global Affairs Officer Phil Baty said that the awards celebrated the exceptional achievements of universities, teams and individuals in some of their most critical areas of focus, holding them up as beacons of best practice.

“We very much expect these awards to provide the case studies to inspire action in others and to help further supercharge one of the most exciting and innovative regions in global higher education,” he added.

LAU President Michel E. Mawad received the award at a ceremony held at the St Regis Abu Dhabi on November 14, accompanied by Provost George E. Nasr.

Commenting on this outstanding achievement, Dr. Mawad expressed his pride in the institution and stakeholders. “In its long history, LAU has always been a champion of equality, equity and fairness,” he said. “And this prize demonstrates that we are succeeding in our objective by regional and international expectations and standards.”

More information about the award and the full list of winners can be found on the THE MENA Awards website.