BUE president resigns after student protests

Reem Gehad , Saturday 9 Mar 2013

Students welcome the president's resignation as a victory for all Egyptian students; classes resume Monday

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Students of the BUE on Tuesday, 5 March, during the protests on campus. (Photo by: Mahmoud Ibrahim)

President of the British University in Egypt (BUE) Ahmad Hamza has resigned from his post after a week of student protests calling on him and senior administration members to leave office.

Students started a sit-in last Saturday in front of the university's administration building to protest the executive administration's policies and demanded that the president and general secretary Sami El-Masry leave their posts.

On Thursday, students reiterated their demands to university Vice President Mostafa Gouda, adding the demand that the administration cancel any investigations against students.

Hamza had warned in a statement on Sunday that the university "has started an investigation into students [accused of causing violent action] and will take appropriate disciplinary action with those proven to be guilty."

Gouda accepted all students' demands and also accepted the resignations of both Hamza and El-Masry.

The university's board of trustees, headed by Mohamed Khamis, Egyptian businessman and owner of Oriental Weavers Company (a leading carpet company in Egypt), had delegated Hamza to deal with the students' protests.

"The university's board of trustees next meeting will be held in June to appoint a new president," said Sherif Mamdouh, campus manager in BUE's student union (SU). "Until then, Gouda will act as the university's president."

Classes are expected to resume at BUE Monday. Ex-president Hamza had stopped classes in his initial statement.

Omar El-Alfy, president of BUE's SU, told Ahram Online on Monday that students were protesting the lack of facilities received by students despite the relatively high tuition they pay.

He also claimed that the university administration manipulated students' exam results to disqualify more students from the scholarship programme - forcing more to pay the fees.

Protesting BUE students welcomed the decision and regarded it as a great accomplishment.  

"This is the biggest victory for students in Egyptian universities, we are very happy," Mamdouh says.

"I believe this is an achievement for all Egyptian students and not just for us in BUE," he adds.

Twitter is abuzz with the many BUE students expressing their satisfaction over the decision.

Reem El Sherif wrote, "[The] real victory is not Hamza's resignation - it is that the grades are corrected for the students that deserve it and a better level of education." 

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