The Center for Education and Computer Studies, headed by Mr. Hamza Mustafa acquired its license to establish the Business and Computer College in the year 2000, under decree #3585 on August 7, 2000. In 2003, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education issued decrees 50/46/2003, 51/46/2003, 52/46/2003, and 53/46/2003, granting accreditation to the degrees given by the Institute. These include: Bachelor of Science in Information and Communications, Bachelor in Computer Science, Bachelor in Arts in Painting, Photography and Decorative Arts, and Business Administration, including all its sub-divisions like Hotel Management and Tourism.
BCU includes two faculties: the Faculty of Computer Science with 4 specialties and the College of Business Administration with 8 specialties. It also offers its students a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA), which is still awaiting official accreditation. The Institute’s administration has also submitted a request for the establishment of two new faculties, one for Basic and another for Human Sciences, which will allow it to apply for accreditation as a university if the request is accepted.
BCU is located on Hamra Street in Beirut. It consists of a 11-storey building that includes a cafeteria, 18 computer labs, 5 studio workshop areas for decorative art, 4 kitchen labs for the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management, a central library, and 5 level under-ground parking areas.
The college has opened 5 branches across Lebanon, mainly in Jadra, which has the largest green campus and student housing, Sin-el-Fil branch in the Beqaa region of Chtoura, a northern branch in Qalamoun, and one in A’aley, Mount Lebanon.
Academically, BCU adopts the American system for education, which is based on credit courses and the division of the academic year into three trimesters with two obligatory and an optional third. English is the language of instruction, in addition to the choice of French in some sections and specialties.
In recent years, BCU has attracted a large numbers of students. Nearly 3,500 students were enrolled in the academic year of 2006-2007 compared to 3,091 students in 2004-2005, and 508 students in 2000-2001. The rise of 2,992 students over a seven year period was mainly due to the opening of 5 additional branches.
Regarding human resources, the teaching and the administrative staff reached approximately 320 members in 2004-2005, 220 who are professors.
BCU has set what is considered acceptable fees for enrollment and tuition. Table 1 shows the average tuition fees at BCU.
|Average Tuition Fees at the BCU||Table 1|
|# of credits necessary for a degree||# of years necessary to obtain a degree||Cost/credit (USD)||Average cost for a degree (USD)|
|Faculty of Computer Sciences||105||3||125||13,125|
|Faculty of Business Administration||97||3||125||12,125|
|Faculty of Computer Science - Department of Computer Engineering & Communication||163||5||125||20,375|
|Masters of Business Administration||Around 50||2||200||10,000|
|Source: Information International based on BCU Administration|
According to Table 1, a student can obtain a recognized degree in BCU for USD12, 125.
Orphans, children of martyrs or disabled students benefit from financial assistance up to 40%. The college allocates 38% of its budget to fund scholarships and financial aid.
The college has a number of elements that distinguishes it from other institutions of higher education in Lebanon, most notably the following:
In March 2006, it recognized by the Ministry of Education to be homologous with the “American Academy of Free Education.” This signifies its recognition as equivalent to a college in the United States of America.
The college signed cooperation and exchanges agreements with a number of international institutions of higher education in order to provide more academic options for students. These institutions are: Amborea State University in the United States, Leeds Metropolitan University in England, Wolow Ngogng University in Australia, University of Cesar Ritz in Switzerland, Birenyan University in France and the University of Cobán in Russia.
In terms of activities, BCU’s administration seeks to encourage students to participate in numerous exhibitions to familiarize themselves with the markets. In the year 2005-2006, BCU organized the first Global Math Research Conference in Lebanon and first Employment Fair, in addition to the fourth annual Exhibition of Computer and Telecommunications Engineering.
BCU offers specialized courses in management, accounting and communication in collaboration with Microsoft, Sun and Cisco. It also organizes training courses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
BCU founded a Research Center for Math and Statistics, concerned with scientific research, which won both global and local awards.