Due to the financial difficulties that are facing Lebanon, and the uncertainty that accompanies it, many university students are unable to pay this semester’s tuition fees, most of which are incredibly high, except for that of the Lebanese University.
Year after year, these fees increase, impacting the students’ capability to cope. Universities do not seem to care nor take into mindful consideration the low average wage in the country and the economy that has been plummeting for years.
Many students are being refused to register from one semester to another because they have not managed to pay their full tuition.
Lebanese students have been forced to take more than one part-time job to manage their education, which in turn gets impacted.
In a conscientious move, Dr. Joseph Jabbra, president of the Lebanese American University has just acknowledged the difficulty the students are facing during this period of financial instability in the country.
Abiding by the principles the university stands for that “a deserving student will not be deprived of the opportunity of higher education in our university for financial reasons,” Dr. Joseph Jabbra just declared an emergency plan for the university.
The plan entails assigning more than $50 million in financial aid, which includes 60% of the students from 2019 to 2020.
This act is aimed at helping students complete their education. The plan also entails providing loans without interest from the university’s private balance.
Parents and working students will be now able to pay their tuition at low costs. That is in addition the university collecting these payments in Lebanese pounds, instead of dollars, and without taking into account the fluctuation of the dollar exchange rate.
The Lebanese American University does not intend to stop at that support. According to Dr. Jabbra, he is currently working towards increasing the assigned budget so that it can cover more than 60% of its students.
Dr. Jabbra took an outstanding step in that endeavor to help his students and his country.
He went further urging all the universities and educational institutions in Lebanon to help their students and contribute as such to the nation’s efforts towards overcoming this crisis.
This is a great example of social solidarity. This university seeks what is best for its students and not for its pockets.
LAU and its president deserve to be acknowledged for such a wonderful act in such desperate times, as we also urge all educational institutions in Lebanon to do the same in solidarity.