Universities are struggling to survive the financial crisis


In less than two years, the Lebanese exchange rate has fallen by 90%, hitting university payroll and student pay. The faculty is running, there is no electricity and no fuel, and the position of the country’s Middle East education center is in doubt.

“We are in a state of survival … we cannot imagine another year of violence,” the Lebanese American University Press and Public Relations Office said. University World News By email. Our university’s attitude is closely linked to our view of the country … Without the generosity and support of our friends, we will not be able to survive.

Since October 2019, Lebanon has been on a slippery slope. In the wake of nationwide protests against the government, banks have imposed informal capital controls, restricting spending and lowering the value of the currency. The Lebanese lira, which was valued at US LL1,500, has since reached more than LL20,000 on the black market.

“The accounts of the whole nation are in process, and honestly this is corrupt and a crime. He said the university could not get our money here and that we should rely on our donations outside of Lebanon.

The cost of education has declined

The biggest problem for the country’s 48 universities and higher education institutions is financial. Despite many crises, student enrollment has not diminished, but university revenue has declined. “About 90% of education-based income is lost,” says LAU.

For many students, in the case of Beirut American University (AUB) and LAU, it is impossible to pay more than $ 12,000 a year for undergraduate tuition.

LAU funding has increased its budget from $ 50 million to $ 80 million to prevent student dropouts. “Currently, more than 75% of LAU students are benefiting from financial aid,” he wrote.

Universities had to adjust tuition fees, with Balamand adjusting tuition fees to LL2,950 in September. “That is less than 10% of the real dollar value on the black market. Adjusting the lesson is a big challenge [fees]”We can’t really grow it, but we have to pay the teachers and staff to fix the university’s financial structure.”

With the salary declining by 90%, many institutions have gone abroad. We are striving to retain our well-known teachers. “Unfortunately, foreign universities are deliberately or unknowingly fishing for our famous teachers.”

A.D. Founded in 1866 and recognized by the United States, AUB By 2020, it has laid off 850 workers, equivalent to 14% of the 5,800 workers.

Universities like AUB have started paying 35% of their salaries in US dollars in an effort to maintain their faculty. LAU is paying in dollars and has increased its salary in lira. However, the context and the surrounding factors were really scary, but we have seen 15% to 20% of teachers’ teaching. The Beirut port explosion is a major security risk that has caused some of our stars to think of other countries, ”wrote Law.

A.D. Since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 4, 2020, the world’s largest explosion has killed more than 200 people in the capital and caused an estimated $ 15 billion in damage. Injuries to universities and teachers have alarmed students, and AUB has reported enrollment of nearly 600 students.

The oil crisis is staggering

More “Cake on Cake” Warak When Lebanon has been without electricity for decades, diesel generators have been used during power outages, but are now being rationalized.

“We had to turn off all air conditioning at the same time to reduce consumption from 40% to 50%, which is not easy when it is more than 30 degrees Celsius,” Warak said. Power has been transferred to make ministers and medical institutions work. The university is looking at solar energy to keep the lights on.

LAU closed Beirut campus in August to store energy during the semester. “It was a daunting task to get a steady supply of fuel to operate the two campuses and two medical centers, as their energy levels were staggering. There are only so many energy-saving measures we can take. ”

In July, the presidents of 11 universities petitioned the government to release the funds of the institutions and give them a preferred rating. “We are asking that the universities accommodate the companies that bring oil to the country or whatever it deems necessary,” Warak said. The appeal is deaf.

As the autumn semester approaches, universities want students to return to campus due to locks and other measures to curb COVID-19 transmission over the past year and a half. Law opened only four days a week to save fuel, and Baland was keen to teach on the spot.

We went online to teach because of the shortage of fuel and the inability of students to travel, but students said it was really challenging because they did not have gas for generators or had no internet connection to do their courses.

The financial crisis has affected universities’ ability to pay for software and academic libraries. “They have to be paid in US dollars, so the challenge is to maintain our academic standards,” Warkak said.

The university is “preparing for the worst,” he said.

“Universities can be closed. We certainly are not in this situation, and we hope not in the coming years, but we may be forced to close some of our programs to protect the main faculty. It is a big crisis not only for universities but for the whole country; Said Gold.


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