BEIRUT: The Lebanese American University’s President Joseph Jabbra, announced on Friday the university’s emergency plan to help students battle the current dire economic crisis, while emphasizing the Lebanese youth’s unalienable right to education.
The university’s students found hope in his words as many put part of their financial worries to rest. The plan includes the allocation of 50 million dollars to provide students with financial aid, maintaining tuition payments at the official exchange rate of the Lebanese pound, reintroducing soft loans with no interest, and providing new installment options for tuition payments.
“LAU’s new financial measures will help many students who were planning on dropping out or transferring to other universities complete their degrees here,” Hady Jassar, a third-year LAU student told Annahar.
He added that the tuition fees of private universities in Lebanon are exorbitant, so LAU’s various forms of financial aid are assisting students so that they do not have to forgo their education.
Jessica Saade, another student, asserts that the university has never failed to supply its students with financial assistance, where she herself will only be able to graduate due to the aid and grant she was offered.
“I was already planning on leaving LAU because the crisis created additional financial burdens at home, but now that more funds have been allocated for financial aid purposes, I think I’ll be able to afford the fees for the two remaining semesters at LAU,” noted Alaa Bakri, a marketing student.
However, Bayan Rubaie told Annahar she wished the university would introduce additional measures like decreasing its tuition fees.
“LAU is one of the most expensive universities in Lebanon, and although I’m appreciative of all the initiatives undertaken to buttress the sustainability of our education, I believe the value of tuition fees should be reappraised,” Rubaie said.
The repercussion of LAU’s announcement also enthused students from other universities like the American University of Beirut and the American University of Science and Technology to urge their administrations to adopt similar financial measures.
“If no emergency plan is implemented to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds afford the next semester’s tuition, then I’ll be among the myriad of students who will have to drop out,” expressed Mohamad Ibrahim, a second-year student at the American University of Beirut.
Education is every society’s foundation, and it is during such periods of economic and political impasses that academic institutions should safeguard their students’ access to education so that they can emerge as future pioneers and leaders.
An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.