New academic year, new regulations



Sat, 16 Sep 2017 - 11:09 GMT


Sat, 16 Sep 2017 - 11:09 GMT

Students on first day of academic year- Egypttoday

Students on first day of academic year- Egypttoday

CAIRO – 17 September 2017: Gone is the summer, along with the high spirit of the Eid Al-Adha feast. Now, it’s back to school and time for a new academic year. More than 17 universities have started on September 16, with a total of 2.5 million students enrolled. The new academic year took place amid the hopes of students for stability and progress. Schools will resume next week on September 23. As the new academic year kicks off, new challenges are ahead of the Minister of Higher Education.

The first day at university began amid strict security measures to prevent any hindering to it, as well as parents’ fear from an increase in tuition fees.

College Students on their first day of School- photo via Egypttoday

Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar announced that there will be no increase in tuition fees for both public and private universities. He said public universities would not be allowed to increase tuition fees for new students while private universities would be bound by a ministry-mandated "code of honor" to maintain a cap on tuition fees for returning students.

However, private universities would be allowed to increase fees by 5 to 10 percent maximum for new students. The minister also said that per the code of honor, private universities would not require students to pay in foreign currencies, the costs of which have soared since the country floated the local currency last November.

Students on first day of academic year- Egypttoday

Abdel Ghaffar stressed that there will be no raise in tuition fees this year. However, Abdel Ghaffar instructed universities to start the academic year by saluting Egypt’s flag, yet all but Alexandria and Al Mansoura universities did not abide with the instructions. Those that did not promised to salute the flag the next day.

Security measures at universities’ gates were performed by Falcon Security Company. Monitoring cameras have been placed at all universities’ faculties. There is also coordination between all universities and different security directorates in case students protest.

Students on first day of academic year-Egypttoday

Some universities, like Al-Minya University, prohibited its students to smoke within the university premises and not to discuss any political topic. “Whoever will do this will be subject to a fine of LE 50,” said the university’s president Gamal Abul-Magd.

Meanwhile, Abdel Ghaffar said that just as last year, newcomers across all the country’s universities will be requested to have a blood test during the first month of the academic year. Blood tests are meant to determine whether Egyptian students are suffering from Virus C or drug addiction and whether foreign students have HIV.

“Foreign and Egyptian students and university employees and staff members are to take blood tests. Special attention will be given to students who reside in university dorms,” Al-Shehi said.

The president of Cairo University, Mohamed Othman Al-Khusht, said the university dorms have a capacity of 6,000 students, 2,000 males and 4,000 females. “Blood tests are routinely done to all students who apply to stay at the dorms. It is the second year to apply these tests to all university students and staff member,” Al-Khusht said.

The heads of universities said that procedures for settling students at university residences have also started, following the required medical tests.

According to Al-Khusht, a new plan has been drawn up for student activities in order to help them enhance their life skills and their practical and leadership abilities. “Students’ cultural programs will be reactivated in order to enrich their capabilities,” Al-Khusht added.

The president of Ain Shams University, Abdel-Wahab Ezzat, said new security measures will be installed this year. “The university will issue a new kind of student ID card called Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID). The card will be impossible to forge. It will be given to students, employees and university professors. Those who do not have this card will be denied entry into the university premises,” Ezzat said.

Meanwhile, Abdel Ghaffar announced in a press conference earlier this month that security measures on campuses had been tightened. “A security company will be responsible for monitoring students in universities,” Abdel-Ghaffar said.

The minister added that no political activities will be allowed. “We will not allow the presence of parties or party blocs within university premises. The ministry will hold several symposiums to increase the political awareness of students.”



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