The American University in Cairo (AUC) announced on Sunday that almost half of all undergraduate students currently enrolled at the university will be receiving emergency scholarships at the start of the spring 2017 semester.
Students at the AUC staged several strikes in November to protest a rise in tuition fees after the government floated the Egyptian pound, a crisis that extended to students at dozens of other international colleges and schools who pay tuition at a rate pegged to the dollar or other foreign currencies.
The university clarified in a press release that these students include 346 students who have applied for and are eligible to receive the scholarship, in addition to 1,487 students who are currently receiving financial aid and have been automatically considered for and awarded the emergency scholarships.
Another 182 undergraduate students may also be eligible for the emergency scholarships pending completion of their documents.
Since the announcement of this programme, 142 graduate students have also applied for the scholarship.
In November, the Central Bank of Egypt floated the Egyptian pound in efforts to combat an economic crisis and a shortage in hard currency.
AUC students pay half their tuition fees in Egyptian pounds and half calculated in dollars, according to a decision implemented less than two years ago when a forex crunch hit the country. Previously, the students’ fees were only paid in Egyptian pounds.
Following November's economic decisions , the university announced that the 2016 autumn semester’s final installment will be paid at the old exchange rate of EGP 8.88 to the dollar, a decision that will cost the university around a million dollars, according to its president.