Expelled BUE students to file grievance against administration

Hana Afifi, Sunday 16 Nov 2014

Students expelled from the British University in Egypt will file a grievance against their expulsions and wait for a State Council decision

Expelled students from the British University in Egypt are preparing a grievance file against the university's disciplinary board, Ahmed Abuzeid, the only student indefinitely expelled, told Ahram Online.

The move comes after the university's president Ahmed Hamad reportedly expelled 33 students – which he claims is an exaggerated number – for protesting without permission and for writing Facebook posts insulting the administration.

The students also filed reports against the university at the state council, calling for their return to the university, which were referred to the council's board of commissioners to examine the case's documents. Some sessions are scheduled for December.

Three protests were held in September and October which called for the adoption of a student regulation prepared by the 2013/2014 student union and for holding a referendum on it.

Abuzeid is one of the four student representatives in the 2013/2014 student union, as the other three students graduated.

A petition was signed by 2500 out of 6000 students in favour of the regulation, to be implemented by the beginning of the 2014/2015 fall semester.

The university rejected the student regulation and drafted its own.

"The regulation should be issued by the university, and the university did that according to the law for the organisation of universities," stated Hamad.

Documents provided by Abuzeid to Ahram Online show the university issued a decision on 9 October to expel 13 students for a week, on 12 October to expel two students for a week, seven students for a semester on 19 October, a student for a semester on 20 October, four more students for a semester and five students for a month on 21 October, in addition to Abozeid’s indefinite expulsion.

The documents show that the administration expelled the students "given the exceptional circumstances and the posts on social media pages inciting disorder and trying to disrupt the educational process, in addition to insulting the administration."

The university also published a statement in Al-Ahram's Arabic newspaper last week explaining the reasons for the expulsion.

The students described the expulsion as "arbitrary" as not all students faced investigation before the decision was taken, according to Abozeid.

The process is such that a student faces investigation and is then referred to a disciplinary board, which issues a decision. If the students file a grievance, the case is referred to a higher disciplinary board.

Hamed told Ahram Online that the students were referred to a punitive council for investigation, who approved the decisions to expel them.

He added that in the case of the disruption of the educational process, he has the right to skip the 13 escalatory sentences and issue an indefinite expulsion decision.

Hamad said there are government orders to apply all external laws within the university campus, like the protest law which bans unsanctioned demonstrations, in reference to events in March 2013, when he says students closed the campus for a month.

The university's former president Ahmed Hamza resigned in March 2013 after students called on him and other administration members to leave office and protested the lack of facilities.

"There is still anger, but the people are waiting for what's going to happen. The situation is still not calm," said Abuzeid.

Nevertheless, a new student union was elected according to the new student regulations prepared by the administration.

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