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Libyan Scholarship Students Travel, Never Return

Libyan Scholarship Students Travel, Never Return

Thursday, 21 April, 2022 - 06:45
Libyan Foreign Minister Najla el-Mangoush attends a joint press conference at the conclusion of the Libya Stabilization Conference, in Tripoli, Libya, October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Hazem Ahmed

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Libya’s interim Government of National Unity said around 2,000 students, who were studying abroad, didn’t return to the country although their scholarship term has expired.

Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Dr. Imran al-Qeib stated that 1,922 students from all Libyan universities received scholarships to study abroad “but their expedition ended, and they didn’t submit documents justifying their stay outside the country.”

He added that the Grievances Committee formed upon a ministerial decision wasn’t convinced with their justifications and decided to suspend their scholarships.

Families of the travelling students have expressed deep concerns over their future, so the minister decided to give the students a last chance to contact the grievances committee to explain their situation before April 28, or their names will be submitted to the ministry of finance to cancel their financial support.

Libyans have slammed the minister’s decision and expressed their objection on social media, accusing the concerned parties of “interference and corruption,” saying some students plan to appeal the decision.

Back in August, Imran al-Qeib requested the directors of universities to submit lists featuring the names of students with scholarships abroad, who didn’t return despite the end of their term to take the necessary measures.

At the time, the minister said the scholarships suspension decision “will be taken in accordance with the laws and the lists to protect the right of other eligible students of benefitting from future scholarships.”

Scholarships given to students abroad are among the corruption issues in Libya; the audit bureau in the capital, Tripoli, formerly advised the ministry of foreign affairs to form an independent committee to review the portfolios of all students who received scholarships abroad in accordance with a 2020 law, to verify if they meet the scholarship’s requirements and conditions.

Khalid Shakshak, head of the audit bureau, called Foreign Minister Najla el-Mangoush to “reconsider suspending all the individual decisions taken in violation of the 2020 law because they weren’t legally presented to the concerned committee.”

In a recent report, the audit bureau raised concerns over decisions taken by the former foreign minister, Mohammed Siala, and accused him of giving scholarships to suspicious employees, and issuing fake scholarships.

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