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Efforts to raise JD35 million for Student Support Fund failed, MP says

University
A general photo of the University of Jordan’s campus. (File photo: Jordan News)
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AMMAN — A joint initiative by the Parliamentary Finance Committee and the Education Committee has failed to raise its targeted goal of JD35 million for the Student Support Fund, MP Taleb Sarayrah, head of the Education Committee, announced on January 4.اضافة اعلان

The fund, which falls under the umbrella of the Ministry of Higher Education, aims to offer loans and grants to Jordanian university students who cannot afford to continue their higher education. The committees’ goal was to raise an additional JD35 million to add to the fund’s existing pool of JD49 million to help support the more than 71,000 applicants from Jordan’s public universities, Sarayrah said. The existing funds “are simply not enough to support the high demand,” he added.

The lawmaker attributed the failure to achieve the fundraising goal primarily to the inefficient promotion of the cause, and invited the media to play a role in promoting the initiative.

Initially, “we aimed to raise most of our funds through the private sector, ... but unfortunately the support was not enough,” Sarayrah said, adding that a lack of awareness of the cause rather than the Kingdom’s economic climate played the biggest role.

The deputy was adamant that neither committee has given up on raising the funds necessary for the initiative, and that efforts will be undertaken to revive this cause in the coming weeks, primarily through better publicity strategies. These strategies will be explored in more detail with the Parliamentary Finance Committee.

The Student Support Fund aimed to extend financial support to Jordanian citizens enrolled in public universities.

Other essential factors in determining students’ eligibility to receive aid include their grades, cumulative average, financial status, and living conditions, as well as the provision of basic information on applicants’ family members.

All the fund’s eligibility requirements, and which grants one can apply for, can be found in detail on the Ministry of Higher Education’s Scholarship Directorate’s website.

The Student Support Fund has disbursed more than JD330,000 million in financial aid to university students since its establishment in 2004. More than 380,000 students have benefited to some degree from the fund, according to a local news outlet.

According to Higher Education Ministry spokesperson Muhannad Khatib, “there is currently no available data” for the number of students who received financial support from the fund last year. “Data for 2021 will become available in the coming months, hopefully.”

However, ministry data showed that 50,517 students received monetary support from the fund, in the form of both loans and grants, in 2020.

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