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Hashemite University students protest tuition fee hike

By Suzanna Goussous - Aug 20,2016 - Last updated at Aug 20,2016

Hashemite University students protest against tuition fee hikes at the Zarqa-based university on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Thabahtoona)

AMMAN — Students at the Zarqa-based Hashemite University staged a sit-in on campus on Thursday to protest increases in post-graduate tuition fees by over 50 per cent. 

Activists from the National Campaign for Defending Students’ Rights (Thabahtoona) said that the protest was held to show that students from all universities reject the tuition fee hike, and to “prevent public universities from privatising campuses”.

“We are stepping up our protests and activities to reject the decision to raise the fees of the post-graduate programmes. At the Hashemite University, we are following the lead of the University of Jordan students who succeeded through their protest,” an activist told The Jordan Times.

She added: “Education is for everyone. For a better Jordan, we are protesting this decision. It is not fair that the tuition fees are raised for no justified reason.” 

Mohammad Zughayer, the dean of post-graduate studies at the university, said the increase in fees only applies to new students enrolling in the upcoming semester. 

“The decision does not apply to students who have already enrolled. We are committed to the contract between us and our students, they will graduate from this university just as they entered it, with no rise in the fees,” Zughayer told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

The university raised postgraduate fees to bring them closer to the tuition costs at other public universities in Jordan, he said. 

“Even with the raise, the fees are still much lower than those at any other public university,” the official added.

Zughayer noted that post-graduate students could apply for grants and scholarships at the university each semester.

“Students pay, on average, around JD800 per semester. They can always apply for scholarships offered by the university for those with a GPA of 3 or above,” he explained.

The post-graduate programme is now divided into three sections, according to Zughayer: the scientific majors, engineering, and humanities.

He added that the university provides post-graduate students with JD500 for their thesis requirements.

In July, the university’s president, Kamal Bani Hani, told The Jordan Times that tuition fees were increased to “reduce student intake” due to the lack of qualified full-time professors available on campus.

In the post-graduate programme, for each 66 students registered, a minimum of four lecturers must be available full-time to provide students with a “high-quality” education, he noted.

Tuition fees for postgraduate students majoring in business have been raised from JD50 to JD85 per credit hour, and to JD110 for students enrolling in the parallel programme, according to the university’s website. 

Fees for scientific majors at the university were raised from JD75 to JD125 per credit hour, and to JD165 for students on the parallel programme. 

Students, whose scores are not high enough to meet the academic criteria for a subject, can enrol instead in the parallel programme at a higher cost. 

 

The president said in previous remarks that admission to more than 20 majors would be frozen because not enough full-time professors were available to teach the courses. 

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