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‘No plans to raise tuition fees for BA students at public universities’

By Khetam Malkawi - Feb 11,2014 - Last updated at Feb 11,2014

AMMAN — There are no plans to raise tuition fees at the Kingdom’s public universities for BA students, Higher Education Minister Amin Mahmoud said on Monday.

The University of Jordan (UJ) plans to raise fees for postgraduate students, and international and parallel programme students, Mahmoud said, stressing that there will be no changes to tuition fees of regular programmes.

“We reject any plan to increase the tuition fees of regular programmes at any university,” Mahmoud told The Jordan Times over the phone, adding that even the planned increase for other programmes at UJ will be discussed.

“We have no jurisdiction over a university’s internal issues, but we will discuss other alternatives with the UJ administration to avoid the hike,” he noted.

Earlier this week, UJ announced a plan to raise the tuition fees of postgraduate, parallel and international programmes for the 2014-15 academic year.

UJ President Ekhleif Tarawneh said the administration has studied other alternatives, such as regulating investments at the university and cancelling courses with low demand to avoid any hike in tuition.

“We have already started implementing these plans and will wait for the results,” Tarawneh told The Jordan Times.

However, he noted that the university’s budget for the current year is JD250 million, and the government’s contribution to the budget is only JD1 million.

UJ plans to raise the fees of the three programmes by between 35 per cent and 40 per cent.

However, the minister said: “We will ask for increasing the government’s financial support to public universities to avoid implementing this decision.”

Mahmoud noted that the government contributes JD57 million annually to all public universities, and the contribution varies from one university to another.

In addition, the government contributes JD10 million to support students who cannot afford to pay tuition fees, and JD6 million to improve the infrastructure at higher education institutes.

In a statement sent to The Jordan Times, Balqa Applied University President Nabeel Shawaqfeh said the university will not raise tuition in any of its programmes.

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