Door for application to remain open until Oct 27
KUWAIT CITY, Oct 22: In continuation of the university admission crisis caused by the “great high-school success”, the number of applicants for admission to Kuwait University for the 2020/2021 academic year has exceeded 15,000 within just nine days of launch of online registration, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting informed sources.
They indicated that this number is expected to rise, as the door for application will remain open until Oct 27. The sources stressed that the greatest burden falls on both Kuwait University and the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) despite the high number of admissions for foreign and local scholarships. They said the university “is trying with all its efforts to manage the crisis well”, adding that, “The blame does not fall on the university administration … it should not be blamed for the great success. This is coupled with the surprising talk about cuts in the budget coinciding with opening of Sabah Al-Salem University City in Shadadiyah and the desire to increase the absorptive capacity of the Ministry of Higher Education”.
The source explained that, “The university is facing an admission crisis that is the most serious in its history. Even during the first admission crisis in 2010/2011, the level of applications for admission did not reach this level. Also, there was no move to reduce the university budget.
The current admission situation in higher education institutions this year can be described as complicated. There is a reduction in the budgets of both the Kuwait University and PAAET; therefore there will be no minimum financial appropriations required to pay the monthly social bonuses to students or to provide the required number of professors assigned to them through assignments and appointments, or by assigning additional workloads for teaching to the current professors”.
The sources highlighted that, “The university elaborated the whole picture to the concerned authorities to provide the required budget. In the event that the university is excluded from reducing the budget, it will only be able to accept 8,127 students, as previously announced. If the government’s approach is to accept all of the university’s applicants, then it should not just grant an exception for the university’s reduced budget, but it must actually increase the budget by at least 20 to 25 percent”.
Regarding the mechanism for dealing with the large numbers of applicants to the university this year, the sources said, “The university will not be obligated to accept everyone, especially since the high number of applicants means the minimum rates for admission to some colleges will rise. This is especially if the turnout is high for the college and the number of seats is limited to more than 90 percent in most colleges, and more than 95 percent in the medical colleges”.
They indicated that the university has no choice but to continue distributing the accepted students into the first and second semesters as usual, which means that a number of students are accepted and their enrollment in the university goes to the second semester. The sources affirmed that the university is currently studying the possibilities of whether or not to open the door for admission again in the second semester as usual, revealing that the decision in this regard has not been taken yet, and it will also depend on the approved budget.
Besides being the consequence of the “success” of nearly all high school students this year, the increase in the number of applicants is also due to the fact that some students have been submitting applications to join all higher education institutions in order to be able to make a comparison between the bodies that will accept it.
The sources said some students who are admitted to local and external scholarships have also submitted applications to join the university, but their applications will be excluded unless they provide evidence of their withdrawal from the scholarship before the application at the university closes.
The sources said, “Even if distance education is accredited for the first semester, the university’s absorptive capacity will not change. Accepted persons will spend at least four years at the university and they need to provide sufficient study divisions to be able to graduate in the specified period of time.
In addition, even in distance education, the university cannot raise the ceiling for the number of students in each academic division so that the quality of education is not negatively affected”. They affirmed that there are expectations of overcrowding of students in some literary colleges, because the demand for scientific colleges will increase the minimum rates for admission to them; therefore it is expected that the high-school graduates of the science section will opt for some literary majors to secure a place at the university.