Conflicts & War

Lebanese students forced to drop out of college amid economic crisis

Beirut, Dec 14 (EFE).- Many Lebanese students have been struggling to pay their college tuition fees amid the worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, forcing them with no other option but to drop out of college or even leave the country.

The spike in prices and massive currency devaluation has caused tuition fees for private colleges to double in some cases, with some requiring payments made in dollars given the Lebanese lira has lost 90% of its value.

Between 70 and 80% of students enrolled in private universities cannot afford the next academic year, leaving them with the only option left in the country which is attending a public university, the KANIYA organization reported.

 KANIYA is an NGO that was launched in response to the dramatic situation with the aim of helping students complete their studies, its co-founder and co-director, Isabel Henzler Carrascal, tells Efe.

“There is only one public university, the rest are private and because of that, the fees are incredibly expensive,” Henzler Carrascal, a Spanish-German woman living in Beirut, said.

 “And since that was a huge problem before the economic crisis, that problem has become more important in the last one or two years,” Henzler Carrascal, added.

To help those struggling, the NGO aims to collect 20,000 euros to start offering scholarships to college students who have already completed 70% of their studies to “give them the opportunity to finish their degree.”

The beneficiaries will be selected by a jury of five individuals based on “their motivation and ambition, and their social commitment,” the co-founder said.

Lebanese authorities do not have a plan to tackle the situation, nor do they know the number of the students who have dropped out of college because of the situation, a source from the education ministry told Efe.

Najib Mikati’s cabinet, which took the helm in September ending a year-and-a-half long political deadlock, has other priorities amid the crisis that broke out in 2019.

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