The Cabinet has reportedly approved a hastily compiled plan to finance all the necessary requirements to allow Kuwait University to accept a further 2,000 new students in the second semester of the 2011-12 academic year. One government insider described this as the only possible solution to the students' dilemma, despite the fact that a number of KU staff have warned that academic standards will fall as the already notable overcapacity problem at the university worsens still further.
The overcapacity problem at KU, Kuwait's sole state university, dominated discussions during the Cabinet's weekly meeting on Sunday. According to the insider, the Cabinet instructed the Ministry of Finance and the Civil Service Commission to coordinate with the university administration on fulfilling the necessary prerequisites before the university accepts the 2,000 additional new students in the second semester. The proposal was put forward by education minister Ahmad Al-Mulaifi.
The university administration has demanded a massive increase in the number of teaching staff to cope with the flood of new students, as well as demanding that it be allowed to recruit more non-Kuwaiti faculty members. It has also demanded a sizeable increase in the university's overall budget, as well as insisting that the authorities quickly devise ways to increase the university's capacity in terms of facilities and infrastructure.
The insider revealed that the KU administration has flatly informed the government that unless all these demands are met by the second semester it will be unable to accept the 2,000 additional students.
The would-be students are amongst 3,000 recent graduates from local high schools whose applications were earlier rejected by KU, despite their meeting all the university's criteria, on the basis of its massive overcapacity problem. The other 1,000 students will reportedly be granted scholarships either at private universities in Kuwait or overseas.