Art college graduate artist or engineer?

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Sometimes concepts overlap, confuse a person in his dealings with his environment, hinder his understanding of him and make him expect him in a state of uncertainty. But what is the case, when the disciplines are mixed, and the nature of educational institutions, including technical, applied and engineering, overlap, and the list of these is entered, specializations that are on the agenda of those..?!

This is not normal, since a student can study a specialty in one of these institutions, and be considered an “artist”, and a second study, the same specialty in another, is considered “industrial” considered, while their colleague, who has the same specialty, is in a third institution, Be an engineer..!

In fact, it has become a problem experienced by the educational community in the Arab world as a whole, at all levels, and in its many aspects. Including the academic aspect, and it appears when academic concepts are not stable, and are not qualified to specify specializations, and describe professions, and the boundaries of what is an engineering profession, what is an artistic activity, what is a profession and a trade. is mixed in it; Educational institutions of different nature and educational agenda are therefore authorized to teach specializations of a different professional nature.

As a result, graduates find themselves with a certificate in the same specialty, even if their preparation for this certificate differs, so they face different cases of professional recognition and their certificates. This is what is considered the legal level in this problem. This relates to scientific recognition, which is entrusted to institutions of higher education, and professional recognition, which is entrusted to trade unions and professional groupings.

This problem arises especially with specializations such as programming, design and decoration, and other disciplines, whose educational program has an art-cultural aspect, a professional, craftsman-industrial and an engineering third, next to the scientific-technological aspect , include

In fact, this problem appeared in a number of educational institutions, and is still present in many of them today. Especially with the introduction of concepts such as «the arts and creative industries». Indeed, some Arab educational institutions have undergone transformations in this aspect, making their biography an adequate summary of the problem. Perhaps the biography of the first college of fine arts in Syria is a shining example of this.

The college was founded in 1960. It was called the Higher Institute of Fine Arts, affiliated to the Ministry of Education, and includes the Departments of Architecture and Plastic Arts. In 1963, the Institute was transformed into a “college” affiliated with Damascus University. In 1970, architecture was attached to the Faculty of Civil Engineering, and later independent of its own faculty, so that the Faculty of Arts became limited to plastic arts, but it included: drawing, photography, sculpture, print engraving, visual communication, and interior architecture “decoration”. In a later period, a College of Fine and Applied Arts was established in Aleppo, then an Art College in As-Suwayda, and a fourth at Tishreen University in Lattakia. With the beginning of the establishment of private universities, art colleges multiplied, and the number of graduates increased.


Dr. Fouad Dahdouh, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University, spoke to Al-Bayan and emphasized that the number of applicants for the official art faculties reached 2,300 in the first phase this year, including 800 for the mother college in Damascus , of whom 1350 followed in the second phase, and this number will be subject to a second selection. Depending on the grade of the secondary certificate, the degree of success in the entrance exam and the capacity of each faculty, it then becomes among the four faculties. This is undoubtedly a large number of students who will graduate from disciplines shrouded in fog, their professional status and their scientific classification. This is a situation that is likely to worsen, as public art faculties are still eager for a wide list of specializations, while private art faculties are interested in two disciplines, the reference of which is ambiguous between arts and engineering, namely: interior architecture, and visual communication.

Here the question arises: Is a graduate of art faculties an “artist” or an “engineer”? Note that the adjective “engineer” does not exist in Syria so far, an official body grants it to this graduate, but he himself grants it to himself, as proof of his affiliation with the Union of Plastic Artists, the Engineering Syndicate does not. This question was posed by Al-Bayan to a number of academics working in the private and public sectors.

Dr.. Ihsan Al-Ar, a professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University and in one of the private universities, confirmed to Al-Bayan that private art faculties, since they are commercial, are linked to the randomness of the labor market, and because those in charge are well aware of the Arab community’s desire and tendency for two main specialists: Interior architecture “decoration.” » and graphic design, happy with it. This lowers the level of qualification offered by educational institutions.

In his speech to Al-Bayan, Dr. Mahmoud Sheikh Al-Shabab, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the International University of Science and Technology in Damascus, said that the universities of the Islamic world, from the Atlantic Ocean to Kuala Lumpur, do not bear the specifications of real universities . on intellectual freedom.Private non-profit universities, whose main purpose is to spend their financial returns on scientific expenses and their employees, and what is left to spend on scientific research, which led to its development so that European universities are now in the first place is ranks, unlike those that exist in the Arab and Islamic world. It is not surprising that we live this overlap between disciplines, and in the educational identity of universities and institutes, since education is originally not organized by the labor market and working life, while efforts in this context are haphazard and for purposeful reasons related with commercial objectives.

Modern experience

Dr.. Hussam Debs and Zeit, head of the Department of Interior Architecture at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University, and a teacher of this course at a private university, confirmed to Al-Bayan that arts are a mirror which is the history and culture of society and its environment, while design arts, with their mechanisms, monitor the level of development and progress of civilizations or population groups, and are at the top of the list. In each of them, man has a means and an end , whether in amusement or benefit. The experience of the private sector in higher education is recent in Syria. It was mostly based on Western educational curricula, and was limited to a limited number of scientific and technical disciplines. The technical specializations in these universities may be limited to architectural, interior and graphic design, but in the general context there remains a wide area of ​​confusion between technical, professional and scientific. That is, between the artist graduate, the engineer graduate and the technical third. Perhaps this problem has implications that make it necessary to dwell on it and reorganize educational disciplines and institutions in a clear way, in a way that guarantees the qualification level at admission.

hobby and specialty

This confirms dr. Debs and oil told Al-Bayan that art disciplines such as drawing, sculpture and engraving can be practiced as a hobby through experience, without really needing to join an institute or college, and this does not diminish the role of academic qualification for these arts. . Perhaps it was influential in missing the clear boundaries of these disciplines. On the contrary, disciplines such as architecture and interior design cannot be practiced without an academic qualification, as these disciplines are under the supervision of cultural institutions and set conditions for their outputs and applications on the ground. The link between the fields of design and the different types of visual arts, with sciences and technologies playing a major role in the process of controlling the design content and making these areas more specific. Dr. end. Debs and Zeit told Al-Bayan, noting that all social, economic and cultural developments affecting people locally and globally have strongly imposed themselves on the public and private education sectors, leading to some improvisation in the design of education specializations.


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