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Monday , September 28 2020

Ministry may cut, stop US scholarships – Alternatives sought

KUWAIT CITY, July 12: At a time when officials of the Ministry of Higher Education were getting ready to meet the representatives of the US Embassy to find out the consequences of the US Immigration Department’s decision and to spare Kuwaiti students any harm in that regard, it was revealed that the Ministry is moving toward delaying the launch of the foreign scholarship plan for next academic year, reports Al-Qabas daily.

The daily quoting a source said this action was taken for several reasons – citing uncertainty of the global crisis created by coronavirus pandemic, expectation of a second wave that might hit some countries, the Health Ministry’s recent recommendation not to travel, and blurring of the position regarding the resumption of studies in public schools, as well as recent decisions of the US Immigration Administration regarding foreign students.

“Although there are two options to either launch the scholarships now or postpone it, the decision of the US Immigration Administration not to allow students whose studies were transferred “online” to enter the United States and leave if the decisions for this system were converted, led to the tendency of not presenting the scholarships in the current period,” he added. Meanwhile, full details of the issue indicate that the Ministry of Higher Education intends to postpone the launch of the foreign scholarship plan for next academic year, and possibly, no scholarship will be offered for the first semester.

The orientation of the Ministry in the scholarship file is based on several reasons, including ambiguity of the path of the global coronavirus crisis, expectation of a second wave that might strike some countries, the Ministry of Health’s recent recommendation not to travel, and the uncertainty of the position regarding the resumption of studies in government education sector, as well as the recent decision of the US Immigration Administration regarding International students.

While the source left the door open to several possibilities, confirming the continuation of discussions on the perceptions of the proposal and the postponement, he pointed out that the decision of the US Immigration Administration to not allow students whose studies shifted to “online” to enter the United States and leave if the decisions shift to this system, support the directive against launching missions in the current period.

The source said the decision of the US came as a surprise to the Ministry, indicating those concerned had begun studying the proposed alternatives, and there are indications of reducing the number of seats in Kuwaiti missions to the United States, while others see the need to stop them temporarily until the American decision is settled, especially after the lawsuits filed by American universities, on the recent decision. He declared the Ministry planned to meet with representatives of the US Embassy to determine the consequences of Immigration Administration’s decision and its continuation, so that Kuwaiti students are not harmed.

He stated the ministry is also heading to study alternative destinations for scholarships, especially after the academic accreditation body prepared lists of accredited universities in a number of countries where students were previously dispatched, in addition to new destinations, including Austria.

He noted that “if the ministry decides in the interest of students to stop the scholarships to the United States temporarily, there will be alternatives for quality educational destinations as well”.

After the Ministry prepared a detailed report on the plan for external scholarships that includes specialties and universities scheduled to open its doors the usual time, despite the corona crisis, and putting it on the table of the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Saud Al-Harbi, report has changed in light of the recent developments.

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