Idlib… Disagreement between “higher education” and University of “Government of Salvation” causes cutting of some teachers’ salaries

The University of Idlib - November 26, 2016 (Enab Baladi)

The University of Idlib - November 26, 2016 (Enab Baladi)


13 teachers working at both the University of Idlib and the University of Salvation Government are facing problems with the Council of Higher Education, consisting in the issuance of written warnings against them and the freezing of their salaries for reasons related to their work at the University of the Government of Salvation, which is “unlicensed” at the Council of Higher Education.

On 1st December, the University of Idlib issued a decision to cut the salaries of professors working at the University of Government of Salvation, 12 of them having a doctorate degree and one having a master’s degree, for refusing to sign a written pledge obliging them not to work for “unlicensed” parties in the Education Council.

The Head of the University of Idlib, Dr. Taher Samaq, said in an interview with Enab Baladi, that the decision does not mean that the doctor professors should be dismissed from the University of Idlib, as circulated by the media, but it is no more than a “pressure” on the doctor professors to force the University of Government of Salvation to get an official license.

“The University of Government of Salvation was opened in 2017 in Maarrat al-Nu’man in Idlib, and then opened its branch in the city of Jericho. It includes about 27 colleges and institutes in various specializations and fields.”




The problem with the license

The Head of the University of Idlib, who is vice president of Idlib’s Council of Higher Education, said the problem with the University of Government of Salvation started last year. The university did not abide by the decision stipulating that all universities in Idlib should be accredited and officially licensed to the Council of Higher Education.

He added that many public and private universities operating in the region had complied with the decision, except for the University of Government of Salvation, which has repeatedly promised to get a license. However, the university staff members have been procrastinating for many reasons, according to Samaq, which prompted the issuance of a written warning and the imposition of sanctions on the university staff, last July.

The warning was then cancelled after an agreement was reached to abolish the sanctions imposed on the doctor professors, provided that the university gets the license and pays a real estate guarantee, a land worth $ 50,000, to be placed in the real estate records for the students of the University of Government of Salvation in case the university is closed for some reason.

But one of the professors refused to sign the agreement, which has led to its cancellation, according to the Head of the University of Idlib.

He added that the university evades granting the license, “because it would require the educational institution to apply special standards, which may lead to shutting down many colleges and institutes under its supervision, and force it to modify the rates of acceptance for students.

But Dr. Yasser al-Yousef, one of the professors who have been warned, confirmed to Enab Baladi that their salaries have been cut off due to their refusal to sign a decision which obliges them not to teach in universities that have not been licensed by the Council of Higher Education.

Al-Yousef, who teaches at the Mathematics Department in the Faculty of Sciences, said that decisions of this kind require a lot of thought before being finalized, especially in light of the lack of academic staff in Idlib, noting that he is still working at Idlib University in order to reassure that students would not be harmed, despite being denied his salary.

According to Samaq and al-Yousef, deliberations are underway to resolve the problem, as the University of Idlib is committed not to allow its teaching team to teach in unlicensed institutions, in addition to the Council of Higher Education’s resolution to grant licenses to all colleges in order to obtain international recognition of the certificates endowed to students.

 Students’ concerns

Some students protested against the decision, at the University of Idlib, and called for organizing a protest in front of the administration building on Tuesday, December 4, to press the administration to reverse the decision.

However, the protest did not take place, according to Enab Baladi’s correspondent, due to the university administration’s refusal to tolerate the students’ sit-in. Thus, the students were only able to carry on their protest in the form of limited and sudden protest outbursts which did not exceed more than five minutes.

Some students were supposed to carry on a strike as a form of protest, using the slogan “No to monopolizing science”. However, they feared being harmed so they took the decision not to go for the strike.

Enab Baladi’s correspondent reported that most of the students preferred to distance themselves from the dispute, refusing to give their opinion to the media.

The University of Idlib was inaugurated in 2015 and is currently supervising 14 colleges and institutes. Moreover, the number of students enrolled in the university is 14,000, according to the university’s statistics, despite the fact that the diplomas granted in the University of Idlib are not internationally approved.

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