The establishment of an educational institution, accessible financially and geographically to most Lebanese, was a pressing dream for H.E. PM Rafic Hariri. In the 1980's PM Hariri chose Kfarfalous, a crossroad area between the South, Bekaa, and the Mountains to be the location for establishing a hospital and a university in collaboration with the University of Saint Joseph. However, the 1982 invasion led to the virtual destruction of the university and the theft of its equipment.
In 1984, the dream took a different turn through the establishment of Rafic Hariri Foundation (RHF), a non-profit organization whose major goal was to provide the Lebanese youth with a chance for higher education in local and international universities. Around thirty-three thousand Lebanese students benefited from the University Loan Program at Rafic Hariri Foundation and those students pursued their education in Lebanon, Europe, North Africa, and the Americas (The United States and Canada).
The end of the civil war in Lebanon led the Rafic Hariri Foundation to revive the dream of a university, accessible financially and geographically to most Lebanese. The undertaking of such a project required the help of a country that has made great strides in the field of education. Although several educationally advanced countries were considered, Canada was eventually chosen for this collaboration. The programs of study at the Rafik Hariri University were developed in association with a number of Canadian institutions, including the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Capilano College and Memorial University.
Rafik Hariri University whose aim is to provide quality education catering to the Lebanese and regional job market demands became a reality and opened its doors for the first time on September 15, 1999 with the College of Business Administration, according to the presidential decree 1947 dated 21/12/1999 with a student population of seventy-five students.
After its Colleges of Engineering and Science and Information Systems were established, RHU was granted university status on June 19, 2006, by Decree Number 17192.
Mission & Vision Statements
Rafik Hariri University was established with the vision of offering quality affordable higher education to all. Our mission is to foster personal and professional excellence, and the development of leadership as expressed in service to others for the common benefit of humanity.
RHU aspires to equip the student with the knowledge and proficiency necessary for future success in the workplace and effective competition in the global community.
RHU is a leader in setting trends and shaping education in Lebanon and the Middle East through endless endeavors to use cutting edge technology and responsive teaching methods.
RHU employs 21st century educational strategies. It enhances the student's ability to explore the learning environment, apply her/his knowledge and develop critical thinking skills in order to become an independent life-long learner. Students work in groups to solve real world problems (case studies). This mode of learning enhances communication skills and enables the student to adapt to teamwork involving decision-making and leadership. This education is complemented by real world experience in the work place through the Cooperative Education (COOP) Program.