Cairo University retracts decision revoking study permit for lecturer abroad

Ahram Online , Monday 15 Feb 2016

Kholoud Saber
Assistant Lecturer Kholoud Saber (Photo: Bassam Mortada)

Cairo University decided on Monday to revoke an earlier decision to end a post-graduate scholarship abroad for staff member Kholoud Saber following wide criticism and controversy.

"Finally, the arts department informed me of an official decision from the head of Cairo University [Gaber Nassar] to cancel the decision of summoning me back to Egypt and recommending that I continue my study leave to earn the PhD," Saber said on her Facebook account.

Saber is set to continue her year-long scholarship for PhD studies at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, which started last September.

She thanked people who provided "support and pressure" that led to the reversal of the decision.

Last week, over 20 rights groups "strongly condemned" the December decision to end the scholarship for Saber, where she was informed by the Egyptian university that her study abroad permit was revoked based on a decision by the information department at the Ministry of Higher Education.

The reason behind revoking the permit was unclear.

The rights groups described the decision to end the female assistant lecturer's scholarship as one that "has dangerous ramifications for academic freedom [in Egypt]...and undermines the university's independence."

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