Gaza’s Universities: Financial Crisis Threatens Continuity of Work

The Islamic University of Gaza bombed by Israel in 2014. (Photo: File)

Palestinian universities in the Gaza Strip are suffering from a severe financial crisis that threatens the continuity of their work next year, academics and university administrators said on Thursday.

On the sidelines of a meeting of officials of three universities (Islamic University, Al-Azhar University – Gaza, University College of Applied Sciences) with journalists, the academics and university administrators attributed the financial crisis to the decrease in students’ enrolment rate, by up to 30% at present.

Yahya Al-Sarraj, a member of the joint committee of solving the universities’ crisis in Gaza, said that the universities are suffering from a significant financial crisis.

Al-Sarraj added:

“This crisis has resulted in the universities’ inability to pay the salaries of teachers, as the dues of university workers reach between $28-35 million.”

He explained that the debts that students owe to the universities reached this year between 28 and 35 million dollars.

Al-Sarraj expressed fears that universities will not be able to accept students next year because of the financial crisis.

Also, the students’ reluctance to enroll in universities threatens society with new social crises, which may lead to unexpected disasters, as he put it.

Al-Sarraj called on the donor parties and Palestinian officials to “realize the seriousness and consequences of the situation the universities are facing and to make efforts to save the next academic year.”

He also called for the need to provide “facilitation loans for students so that the student pays a small amount per month to be able to enroll in the university.”

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

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