Manara University (MU): Integrating Innovative Teaching Methodologies To Offer Wholesome Higher Education

By Team Manara University
Team Manara University Syrian higher education has not been given the right platform to develop and make their mark in the global higher education space. The current status prevailing in the country has resulted in the partial instability of the higher education infrastructure in Syria. The establishment of Manara University (MU) in 2016 came as a response to the current crisis that Syria is facing which led to the urgency of reacting in a professional and insightful manner and MU aspires to be a beneficial partner in the reconstruction phase in Syria. With a flexibly higher administration and a dynamic young administrative staff, MU strives for excellence on the academic, scientific, cultural and social levels. The mission of the institute is to change lanes from the traditional methods of teaching to the interactive ones through keeping up with modern methods, techniques and tools in education and training. With this, MU is striving to enhance and perfect students’ skills and prepare specialized and qualified staff that is able to efficiently contribute to the developmental process of the community.

Practising Unique Teaching Pedagogies

MU is adopting the standards of international scientific accreditation in higher education and a custom-designed curriculum that is compatible with modern teaching methodologies in collaboration with high calibre international universities. In addition to preparing a unique generation equipped with personal capacities, cultural awareness and communication skills, the institute also focuses on internships in the educational process and implanting the concept of teamwork from a very early stage onwards. Manara University works on students’ mentality and analytical capacity and not only their memorization skills. It also follows up with the involvement of graduates in labour market through starting developmental projects and programs that can create new job opportunities.

“Our vision is to orient the educational process towards meeting community demands and excelling in the methods and ways of education, training and scientific research as well as the specialties and educational programs we tend to implement. In addition to this, we also strive to provide an effective contribution in enhancing the level of higher education and scientific research with other Syrian and international universities”, states Zeinab Muhammad, Public Relations and International Cooperation Director, Manara University (MU).

Apart from this, MU also works to transform towards modern scientific specialties that are up to date with scientific and technical advancements as well as meet the community needs. Apart from this, MU is creating cooperation methods between the university and various economic, social and cultural components. The institute also provides opportunities for a large number of students through scholarships oriented towards community development. Adding further about the scholarship opportunities offered to their students, Zeinab says, “MU provides a wide range of annual scholarships for a lot of students.

" Manara University tackles the educational process by constantly combining the theoretical aspect with the practical one to offer holistic education to their students. "

Also, the specialties available are of importance to the local and regional labour markets current demands. This provides students from all walks of life to have an opportunity to have top-notch higher education.” MU students also have a mandatory course for community development where they go and interact with different local entities and learn how to design initiatives and surveys. It is an interesting theme because students learn to start from the tiniest circle to be involved in their community's needs. MU tackles the educational process by constantly combining the theoretical aspect with the practical one to offer holistic education to their students.

Students with special needs are not left behind at MU; for their inclusion in the reconstruction phase is taken into account as they have private facilities and non-stop follow up with specialists academically and personally.

A Plethora of Programs to Choose from
Manara University offers a variety of programs in multiple fields including Faculty of Pharmacy, Health Sciences, Dentistry, Architecture, Engineering, Business Administration, and Performing Arts to name a few. The University is also going to start the Department of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Department of Civil Engineering, and Department of IT shortly. Students get extensive training sessions in the university on communication and labour market skills via professional trainers who dedicate much time and effort towards the development of the students' experience. MU hosts cultural, scientific and extracurricular events on a weekly basis where representatives of local institutions introduce their factories, banks and pharmaceutical companies with the attendance of students, academic and administrative staff members. The University has also established various clubs including music, astronomy, sport, choir and many more that suit the tastes and preferences of each individual student.

To cater to the international student community, Manara University has various programs including online orientation programs that act as the first step towards introducing the university and its surroundings to the students. Instructors at MU are the basic axis of the educational process where they are not solely responsible for delivering the scientific material but they are also academic advisors as they guide students academically and vocationally towards achieving their fullest potential. From career guidance to scientific enrichment, Manara University teachers tackle all the academic and extracurricular details that contribute to the scientific advancement of students including field trips and supervising internships and projects. The university is currently involved in multiple Erasmus+ projects with local and international universities and institutions. The most important for now is (HANDS) which is directed towards preserving the Syrian handcraft and heritage in collaboration with Syrian and foreign universities and institutions. Evolving with the changing trends, Manara University is planning to stay ahead of the technology curve to offer best in class education for their students.
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