AUB Delivers Severe Ultimatum To Students At Risk Of Losing Their Education

EPA

The American University of Beirut (AUB) gave its students an official ultimatum that will jeopardize their academic standing at the prestigious university.

If current students do not settle the highly unreasonable tuition payments by the deadline set on March 2, 2021, students risk getting expelled.

The administration sent out a firm email with a harsh ultimatum, pressuring the students to pay their dues by Tuesday, while students are still trying to figure out ways to pay the newly increased tuition.

The tuition, which is listed in US dollars, is now issued at an exchange rate of 3,900 Lebanese pounds for the dollar, resulting in a 160 percent increase.

Thus, it has become merely impossible for students to gather the large sum of money in a short amount of time.

“Considering was put under a nationwide lockdown, with the closure of all businesses including the bank sectors, students had no possible way of ensuring the payment of the tuition fees before the set date,” Jad Hani, Vice President of the student council at AUB, told The961.

“Let’s not forget that we’re living in an as well, while the university is still refusing to cooperate with us on ways to make it possible to pay the tuition even though they’re completely aware that so many students will have to drop out,” he added.

Hani noted that the university is acting out based on its own interest, which goes against the institution’s encapsulating beliefs and ideals that clearly state that the student’s wellbeing and education are the number one concern for the administration.

“Besides the fact that what they’re doing is completely unethical, it’s also illegal,” Hani said. He explained that students who are resorting to the notary public to pay their tuition on the exchange rate of 1,500 L.L., which is a legal way to settle the tuition, are not being considered by the university and were also targeted in the email.

Lara Sabra, President of the AUB secular club and a Master’s Degree student, told The961 that not only has the administration totally refused to negotiate with the student body on ways they can settle the tuition, but they were also unresponsive.

The financial aid office is not answering student emails and calls pleading their cases, she indicated.

It is to note that the university itself previously stated that it will provide more than $90 million in financial aid to its student in 2021. According to Sabra, “none of it was true” as the financial aid office is yet to reply to the many desperate students.

AUB is also ignoring the fact that certain students legally and legitimately paid their tuition fees through a legal channel which is the notary public,” Sabra stressed.

“The university just placed a deadline along with a threat, yet they refuse to address their own financial mismanagement and lack of transparency which has brought us to this situation.”

Currently, AUB students plan on filing two lawsuits against the American University of Beirut.

The first lawsuit aims to prove to the judiciary that the settlements made at the public notary are, in fact, legal.

The second calls out the administration for issuing threats against the students and taking decisions that put their education, hence their future, at risk.


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