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Wednesday , March 29 2023

AU of Mideast … & they say

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The law establishing the Council of Private Universities was issued in 2000 to set the rules and procedures for licensing private universities, specifying the requirements for academic accreditation, reviewing the performance of these universities, verifying their compliance with what was stated in the decree of their establishment, and adopting the standards and conditions that must be met in their study programs.

After that, and for some incomprehensible reason, a decree was issued to establish the “National Authority for Academic Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Education”, to include under its umbrella Kuwait University, applied education and private universities with the aim of improving the level of their programs, identifying higher education institutions in other countries that their qualifications of their graduates shall be accredited, and evaluating programs of their institutions, to keep pace with the global academic and institutional development, and activate university planning in higher education institutions with the aim of enhancing self-confidence, and qualifying national cadres at the authority to carry out evaluation and accreditation work for higher education institutions, etc.

It seems that the duplicity in the work of the two sides is clear and caused them to fall into disputes that prompted them to resort to the fatwa and legislation, but the response was not decisive, and the duplicity continued, which can only end by merging the two sides.

From the reality of the academic level, which the various universities and higher institutes have reached, with very few exceptions, we find that the office and the apparatus failed to achieve ambitions due to the large number of political interference in their work, and other reasons that are long to explain, the best example being the situation of Kuwait University and the very deteriorating situation of the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training.

After my grandfather and my father left the money exchange trade, in the mid-fifties, they turned to the food trade, and their business expanded quickly, and it required renting a store that was larger than the one they had on Saud bin Abdulaziz Street.

They learned from a friend that the state is distributing free land in Shuwaikh, so my father returned from the “journey” to inspect the remote and barren area of Shuwaikh with a negative feeling, rejecting the idea for many reasons related to the cost of construction and the employment of a guard and a transport vehicle.

Such decision cost my father a lot as his trade froze and he could not expand because of the small store, and others preceded him in benefiting from the semi-free lands of the state, and their commercial expansion through it after they accepted the risk of spending on building and equipping it in that remote area, which after 60 years became the heart of the state. This in reply to those who do not understand and say the merchants devoured us.

I write the above paragraph for those who used to curse merchants, and I do not know who prevented them from being merchants like others, and what crime did they commit, and were not punished for it? It is not logical to criminalize everyone for the wrongdoing by some, just as it is not possible to do away with medicine because of a doctor’s mistake.

Therefore, whoever invested his money, and took a great risk, ten or twenty years ago in a private university project, deserves to be blessed today with the success he has achieved. If his project was a failure, no one would give him a penny to pay off his debts, and no one would console him with a word for the loss of his capital.

For reasons that are long to explain, the most important of which is the inability of Kuwait University to absorb the increasing numbers of people wishing to attend university education, some rejected the idea of sending their children to study abroad.

The government decided to introduce a system of internal scholarships, and guarantee the payment of tuition fees for those who wish to receive their education in private universities, and because of their scarcity and the high cost of their establishment, and the state’s desire to encourage the private sector to invest in them, it granted those wishing free land with large areas to build universities on.

The law assumes that these projects will be owned by the state after a specified period, and it is the same system for building private hospitals, livestock pens and farms, so learning is more important than cultivating zucchini. Of course, very few parties risked their money to build and run private universities, because of the much money, patience and effort that is required.

… to be continued

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf