Ministry instructs universities to delay summer term fees

jordan university
(Photo: JNews)
AMMAN — All Jordanian universities must allow deferred payment of tuition fees for the summer semester of the academic year 2020–2021 until the beginning of the add/drop and withdrawal period, a decree issued on Tuesday by Minister of Higher Education Mohamed Abo Qaddis said.اضافة اعلان

Abo Qaddis directed the decree to all the heads of Jordanian universities, both public and private. He further stressed that the fees for services from which students would not benefit — due to the cessation of in-person learning — are to be cancelled, such as bus fees and graduation fees, among others.

A student who preferred anonymity commented on the decision saying that “This is a good step. It doesn’t really help though. If the ministry cancelled tuition fees it would’ve been more helpful. We’re not even going to college,” she said.

“This decision only gave us a couple of weeks. ... I had really hoped the ministry would do something more helpful,” she added.     

The ministry stated that this decision comes as a result of the extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to overcome the crisis, the ministry said, people must work together and remain dedicated to national duty. The ministry further stressed the need for all sectors, including universities, to work together and minimize the financial burden on citizens, and to take all necessary measures they find suitable to make Jordanians’ lives easier.

“This is a positive gesture and a great step, however, this decision may not binding for universities because we know that universities are looking for financial and administrative independence,” said Bilal Al-Momani, head of Education Committee at the Lower House.

“I second the decision. Many students contacted us complaining about difficult financial situations and heavy burdens caused by the pandemic. I call upon all universities to adhere and commit to this decision,” the lawmaker said.

According to Thabahtoona, eight out of nine official universities require their students to pay their fees before registration. Thabahtoona is a students’ rights group that demanded that the ministry intervene on behalf of students.

“This decision came as a response of the constant demand of our campaign. It has been four semesters of distance learning and the ministry has not taken any decisions that actually support students,” said Fakher Daas, Thabahtoona’s campaign coordinator.

“Universities have to commit to this decision. This decision is as important as a defense order. We thank the ministry for its cooperation,” he said, adding, “This decision will increase universities’ income as it gives students and their parents more time to save up for the semester,” which will raise the number of registered students.

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