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MPs grant public universities’ guards law enforcement status

By Raed Omari - Feb 06,2018 - Last updated at Feb 06,2018

AMMAN — The Lower House on Tuesday passed the 2018 public universities law under which security personnel at universities are granted conditioned law enforcement status. 

As referred by the government and endorsed by a majority of MPs, public universities’ guards with written authorisation from the university’s president to safeguard campus security and protect buildings and affiliated institutions “within their jurisdiction” are granted law enforcement status under 2018 amendments to the public universities law.

Attending the session, Higher Education Minister Adel Tweisi said granting law enforcement status to guards was part of efforts to address campus violence.  

Following clashes between students at the University of Jordan (UJ) in November 2016, the government said it would submit the proposal as a means to address the ballooning violence across several higher education institutions.

UJ suspended classes on November 24, 2016, after a group of people, estimated to be around 200, stormed into campus in an act connected to a previous incident on campus in the same week. 

At the time, political parties’ leaders and activists opposed granted law enforcement status to universities’ guards, citing the move’s impact on limiting students’ freedoms. 

Under MPs’ amendments to the law, public universities are to be exempted from fines granted, as they enjoy the privileges granted to ministries and other government agencies. 

 

As worded by the House, public universities’ assets are to be considered as “public money” to be collected by their presidents who are to be performing the jurisdiction of administrative governors.

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