Education fees cut for needy Palestinian studentsMore than 19,000 Palestinian students will benefit from a 75% reduction in educational fees this semester, thanks to a UNESCO project to assist students in the Palestinian Territories, funded by the Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People.
The fee-waiver scheme will be finalized on 20 February when the heads of the 34 Palestinian institutions of higher education concerned will sign letters of agreement with UNESCO’s Office in Ramallah and with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of the Palestinian Authority.
In keeping with a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People, the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education and UNESCO in September 2005, the project will enable 11 universities and 24 other establishments of higher education, many of them vocational, to grant fee waivers to their needy students. Applications were submitted for 27,398 students, 19,157 of whom will benefit from the fee cuts.
The waiver is being granted to male and female students alike (55.65% of beneficiaries are female) and is being shared among students in the West Bank and Gaza. It represents an investment of US$6 million, out of the total US$ 15.1 million granted by the Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People. The rest of the Saudi grant will be used to fund needy students in the following semester, including US$ 2 million, which are to be channelled to support universities.