The Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Kuwait has issued a decision to halt medical scholarships in Egypt and Jordan. As per the decision, “The change of medical specializations in universities for students who have joined in Jordan and Egypt before the issuance of the decision is suspended, as is the transfer of scholarship locations to Egypt and Jordan, starting from the next academic year 2023 – 2024”, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas.
The decision also includes the suspension of direct dispatch and scholarships for children of diplomats, and the cessation of adding to the Ministry’s scholarships for medical specialties “Human Medicine, Dentistry, Doctor of Pharmacy, Pharmacy” to both Egypt and Jordan.
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education explained that its decision came within the “framework of its endeavor to control the quality of education, to ensure the health and safety of scientific certificates, and to promote good education”.
The decision to stop medical scholarships from Egypt and Jordan sparked controversy within Kuwait, with supporters and opponents voicing their perspectives. Academics and specialists believe that the decision of the Minister of Education and Higher Education, “represents an excellent opportunity to develop medical education in the country, open more medical colleges, qualify Kuwaiti workers in the field, in addition to increasing the absorptive capacity of the College of Medicine at Kuwait University, which offers only 243 seats in medical colleges”.
On the other hand, 12 members of the Kuwaiti National Assembly expressed their opposition to the decision of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to halt scholarships for students to medical specializations in both Egypt and Jordan. They demanded the withdrawal of the decision, according to Al-Qabas.
It is worth mentioning that in October 2018, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Kuwait issued a decision to reduce the number of accredited Egyptian universities from about 30 universities to only 7 accredited universities. The accreditation became exclusive to Cairo University, Alexandria University, Ain Shams University, Mansoura University, Assiut University, Al-Azhar University, and the American University in Cairo.
The Ministry also issued a decision in July 2019 to accredit only 5 Jordanian universities out of 20 universities, namely, the University of Jordan, the Universities of Science and Technology, Yarmouk, Hashemite, and Princess Sumaya University for Technology.