MainGate: American University of Beirut Mediterraneo

This article appeared first in the MainGate magazine - Spring 2022

For the first time in its history, AUB is opening a twin campus outside of Lebanon, in Pafos, Cyprus, slated to accept students as early as fall 2023. At the ceremonial signing of the agreement on April 8, 2022, in Cyprus, President Fadlo Khuri cited the university’s VITAL 2030 plan, which the AUB Board of Trustees approved two years ago. “The strategic expansion strengthens our already deep roots in Lebanon while allowing us to attract students, faculty, and staff who are eager to join the AUB community but reluctant because of the current instability in the country.”

In Pafos, AUB has found a regional partner that offers an entrée into the dynamic European Union. Historically, Cyprus has been called the crossroads of three continents, and Pafos, on its southwest coast, the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite. The city’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site attests to the richness of its archaeological sites.

Mayor of Pafos Phedon Phedonos, while paying tribute to the city’s known history, which dates back to 1200 BC, said its future depends on the talent and excellence of its citizens. Establishing a branch of the American University of Beirut there will “bring a healthy dynamism to the town,” he said. “The path to our future is through labs, libraries, and classrooms. Education is the best hope for our future. We are present, and we are now working with the best.”

President Khuri emphasized that the expansion does not change the fact that AUB’s Beirut campus will always be the university’s “mothership.” Students and faculty will even recognize in the newly designed Pafos campus a familiar tribute to the Green Oval, Main Gate, and Clock Tower from the beloved Beirut campus.

FAQs about AUB Mediterraneo

CAMPUS: The initial campus will cover an area of approximately 10,000 square meters at the site of the Old Carob Mills in Pafos. AUB and the Municipality of Pafos are currently discussing adding an adjacent site of about 7,000 square meters. Dar Al-Handasah (Shair and Partners) designed the campus master plan, which blends the cultures of Lebanon and Cyprus. The design is a donation to AUB by AUB trustee Talal Al-Shair.

COURSES: AUB will initially offer seven undergraduate and graduate majors leading to degrees in politics, philosophy, and economics (BA); psychology (BS); computer science (BS); industrial engineering (BS); engineering management (MS); business administration–management (BBA); and business analytics (MS).

STUDENTS: The goal is to have 2,000 students enrolled at AUB Mediterraneo in 10 years.

CONNECTION TO BEIRUT: There will be extensive interaction between the Pafos and Beirut campuses in the form of student, faculty, and staff exchanges, collaborative research projects, and expanded online and hybrid learning opportunities.

Speakers at the signing ceremony held on April 8, 2022:

  • Nikos Anastasiades, President, Republic of Cyprus
  • Fadlo R. Khuri, President, American University of Beirut
  • ​Phedon Phedonos, Mayor, Municipality of Pafos
  • Lee Satterfield,US Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
  • Frank Wisner, Chair, International Advisory Council​