After two of Lebanon’s top universities decided to raise their tuition fees by raising the dollar to LBP 3,900, thousands of students felt hopeless and helpless about their future.
This sparked an outbreak of student protests against the administration of the American University of Beirut (AUB), which was the first to take the decision to raise its prices. When the riot police intervened, the protests became brutal and violent.
At the moment near AUB. This was a normal nonviolent protest that escalated with the use of force, tear gas and explosives by ISF against students demanding their basic rights. Courtesy @AUB_Lebanon. This university has become a shame. pic.twitter.com/3FKJwdGyzc
– Yara (@yarazebian) December 19, 2020
Students got even angrier when the Lebanese American University (LAU) followed suit, raising their tuition fees, leaving thousands more students helpless.
It should be noted that according to the 2020 public records of these two universities, the LAU has around 8,044 registered students and the AUB has around 9,495.
If these figures posted on the universities’ websites are correct, the number of youth affected by the dollarization of tuition fees in Lebanon rises to 17,539 students, which is tragic.
Nabil Mounzer / EPA
The tragedy lies in the fact that most of them will not be able to continue their education unless they move to other universities that advocate a clearer or more understanding position towards students.
While it’s not a step without complications and sacrifices, there are other Lebanese universities that, although similarly hit by the economic crisis, have decided to keep their tuition fees unchanged, at least for now.
One of them is the University of Balamand (UOB), the second largest university in Lebanon. UOB has already convinced its students of its decision to keep the exchange rate at the official government rate of LBP 1,500.
In addition, the management of Kaslik’s Holy Spirit University (USEK) has informed The961 that it will maintain the same exchange rate for the current semester.
The961 has also learned that Saint Joseph University (USJ), Beirut Arab University (BAU), Lebanese International University (LIU), and American University of Science and Technology (AUST) will not increase their tuition fees for the time being.
Many of the above institutions have been ranked among the top eight Lebanese universities by 2021 and serve as viable options for students during these troubled times.
In the meantime, the LAU and AUB students continue to try to save their educational pathways at their current universities and fight for what they legally consider to be their rights.
Your campaign, which we will not pay for, will therefore continue in the hope that the authorities will follow your plea and give serious thought to the need for Lebanon to ensure the expansion of an educated society.