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UJ reduces tuition raise for post-graduate programme by half

By Suzanna Goussous - Mar 28,2016 - Last updated at Mar 28,2016

University of Jordan students gather in front of the administration building to continue their protest against tuition fee hikes on Sunday (Photo by Suzanna Goussous)

AMMAN — The University of Jordan (UJ) board of trustees on Monday decided to reduce the raise on the post-graduate programme's tuition by 50 per cent as of the 2016-2017 academic year.

The board referred the decision to reduce the remaining 50 per cent over the two following academic years to its academic and finance committee for study, to ensure the protection of students' and the university's best interest, a UJ statement said.

The increase to tuition fees is estimated at between 100 and 180 per cent, which means that the decrease will make it between 50 and 90 per cent.

Earlier on Monday, UJ students resumed a sit-in that started in late February and continued for around a month to demand the reversal of a decision to raise tuition fees for the parallel and post-graduate programmes.

Alaa Hajjeh, one of the organisers, said the protest was suspended last week in response to the university’s decision to lower the raise on the parallel programme fees gradually, over a period of two years.

Students were waiting for the UJ board to endorse a similar decision for the post-graduate programme.

The protest, organised by the Student Rally to Cancel Tuition Fee Hikes, started on February 28.

Hisham Ayasrah, a PhD student, said students gathered again to insist on their “only” demand of reversing the decision taken by the university’s board of trustees some three years ago.

“We are here today from all faculties and programmes to call for reversing the decision,” he added.

On March 18, the Higher Education Council met with students and decided to cut the raise on the parallel programme tuition by 50 per cent this year, reducing the remaining percentage over the next two years, with a 25 per cent decrease.

Students said that according to the agreement with the council, the raise is expected to be scrapped by 2018.

Since the announcement of the decision to raise the fees for both programmes, students and activists at UJ organised more than 30 activities against it on campus.

According to students, before the decision was implemented, one credit hour for a business major student, for example, used to cost around JD30 in the parallel programme, while the hike raised it to JD60. After the initial drop, it is expected to cost around JD45.

Jordan Food and Drug Administration Director Hayel Obeidat, who is also a member of UJ’s board of trustees, said the initial agreement also entails transferring parallel programme students with a general point average higher than 3.5 out of 4 being to the regular programme.

Earlier this month, the Higher Education Council decided not to renew Ekhleif Tarawneh's UJ presidency for a second term, but the students said at the time that their protest has nothing to do with the president himself.

 

On Monday the UJ board appointed the university's vice president, Azmi Mahaftha, as interim president until a new one is appointed.

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WHILE I DO SUPPORT THE STUDENTS STAND THAT NO TUITION INCREASES AT ALL, THE FACT IS THAT THESE STUDENTS ARE LUCKY THAT BOTH THEIR FATHERS AND MOTHERS ARE JORDANIANS OTHERWISE THEY WILL HAVE THE SAME FAITH AS MY SON WHO HIS MOTHER IS JORDANIAN WHILE I AM AN AMERICAN. MY SON GREW UP IN JORDAN WENT TO SCHOOL IN JORDAN BUT ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN JORDAN FROM KG, ELEMENTARY, HIGH SCHOOL TO UNIVERSITIES ARE OFF LIMIT BECAUSE THEIR FATHER ARE NON JORDANIAN MEN. BY THE WAY MY WIFE WAS ONCE A PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF JORDAN AND STILL TREATED THIS WAY.

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