The American University of Beirut has had its fair share of drama in the last couple of days regarding the administration and the students. However, in a triumphant update, AUB students have won a legal victory against their university. For a year now, the tuition fees of all private universities in Lebanon are paid in dollars. That is, with the exchange rate of LBP 1,507.
On the 8th of December, the university emailed students announcing that they’re adopting a new exchange rate of LBP 3,900. According to The 961, with the new rate, tuition fees at the American University of Beirut will see a significant increase of more than 150%.
On February 3rd, AUB announced that it would provide more than $90 million in financial aid to its students, with $20 million in financial aid to support students whose families struggle to pay tuition fees.
Accordingly, with the drop in economy due to the lockdown in Lebanon, a lot of students haven’t been able to pay their tuition fees. Anxiety fueled uproars from the students continued to rise, and fear of their non-existent future education continued to increase as well. In addition, some students have dropped out from AUB.
Some students resorted to the notary to pay their tuition at the official rate – which is a completely legal move. The university said otherwise, as those payments will not be considered.
The students file lawsuits
This was to be met with a warning email on the 20th of February to all students, cancelling all previous rays of hope.
Any student who paid the tuition fees with the exchange rate of LBP 1,500, and doesn’t settle the payment with the new rate by March 2nd was warned for being expelled. The students reacted. They gathered and filed two complaints against the university with two lawsuits. One lawsuit was in hopes to protect the students from actions taken by the American University of Beirut administration. The second lawsuit was to prove the validity of payments made through the notary public.
The university wanted to expel students that have delayed payments by joining the legal process at the notary. Nevertheless, the students have won against AUB! On the 26th of February, it was announced that AUB’s demands have been refuted and cancelled by the judge of urgent matters.
It’s always smile-inducing to see good things happen in the world. HAIL AND POWER TO THE STUDENTS!