A town hall meeting was held, on Thursday May 19, 2022 at the University of Balamand’s main campus with President Elias Warrak. Faculty members, staff, and students from across all campuses were present in person and through Webex.
Dr. Warrak shed light on the measures taken by the university since the beginning of the financial crisis affecting Lebanon. The President stressed that the primary focus has and will always remain on ways to support our community’s resilience and solidarity.
Dr. Warrak underlined the University of Balamand's commitment to maintaining moderate tuition out of its national and moral obligation toward its students and their families. However, the current financial burdens faced by the university are threatening its ability to sustain its operations without imposing an inevitable increase in tuition fees. Dr. Warrak stressed that the increase would go towards supporting more students through financial aid, adjusting the salaries of faculty members and employees, and meeting the operational and scientific research requirements paid in US dollars. These are essential requirements to maintain the university’s distinguished academic caliber.
Dr. Warrak declared that the University’s administration has developed an in-depth study to reconsider tuitions, where students will pay around 20% to 25% of their tuition fees in fresh dollar, and the remaining will be paid in Lebanese Lira at a rate between 3,500 and 4,000.
While most Lebanese universities have announced the dollarization of tuition fees, Dr. Warrak emphasized the fact that the increased percentage is still under consideration. In closing, Dr. Warrak asserted that the University of Balamand will dedicate all its revenue from this adjustment to offering higher percentages of financial aid and improving the salaries of faculty members and staff.
Dr. Warrak opened the floor for questions which mainly addressed the various challenges facing the Balamand community and ways to address them.