Minister urges universities to allow students that owe tuition to take exams

(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Wajih Owais sent a circular to the heads of public and private Jordanian universities and deans of faculties on Monday, asking them not to prevent students from sitting for the final exams unless they pay university fees.اضافة اعلان

Official Spokesman of the ministry Mohannad Al-Khatib told Jordan News that the minister’s instructions are prompted by the hard economic conditions Jordanians have been witnessing since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are an affirmation of the role of Jordanian universities and their social responsibility toward citizens, helping mitigate the negative effects the pandemic had on many.

Khatib said that the majority of universities have been cooperating with the ministry since the beginning of the pandemic, and have been taking measures that work in the students’ interest, adding that “students’ complaints have reduced significantly since the beginning of the pandemic; “we only receive a few complaints every now and then, and through this circular, we aim to highlight the universities’ eagerness to support students,” he added.

He also said that despite the fact that universities are financially and administratively independent institutions, “the minister sets out the main lines of the universities’ approach, and they highly adhere to them”.

Vice President of the University of Jordan for Administrative and Financial Affairs Salameh Nuaimat told Jordan News that the university did not prevent any student from sitting for the exams and that the university will never resort to such action.

“We work in the interest of our students, and we have been ensuring that none of our students is prevented from sitting for the exams, even before the Ministry of Higher Education issued its circular.”

Fathi Al-Faouri, dean of student affairs at the University of Petra, told Jordan News that before the ministry issued its instructions, the university, in coordination with all concerned departments, had taken the decision not to prevent students who had not paid the fees from sitting for their exams in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that affects Jordan and the whole world.

Faouri said that after they received the ministry’s circular, “I issued an official letter, at the request of the president of the university, to inform deans and heads of departments to not prevent any student from sitting for their exams”.

Mohammad, who refused to give his full name or the name of his university, said he once was prevented from taking his exams because of failure to pay the required fees, adding that the ministry’s decision should be in force even after the pandemic, “especially that I believe that universities should put education above financial interests”.

He said that “universities should not turn into institutions whose first and last objective is money. In the end, we are youths that try our best to balance between our expenses and our education and they should feel for us”.

He added that his university did not care that he was among the students who excelled in their studies, “when I could not pay the fees, they simply stopped me from sitting for my exam”.

The pandemic made an already bad economic situation worse, he said, “and therefore, I urge all universities to seriously reconsider their actions, like preventing students from sitting for their exams, from now on”.

Coordinator of the National Campaign for Student Rights “Dabahtoona” Fakher Daas told Jordan News that while the ministry’s decision is a good step, “we were hoping that the ministry would oblige all universities to not stop students from taking their exams, not send a circularonly”.

Daas said that a similar recommendation was given by the Ministry of Education during the first semester, yet his organization received hundreds of complaints from students prevented from taking exams as “some universities did not adhere to the ministry’s instruction and, as a result, many students were deprived of their right to sit for their exams”.

“In light of the defense orders, the Ministry of Higher Education has the full right to oblige universities to allow students to take their exams, yet the minister only chose to issue a recommendation, and I believe that it is not enough,” said Daas.

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