Freshman students at the Troy University, ITS Sharjah Campus, are being left in the lurch after claims the university is shutting down and therefore turning away returning students.
Nearly 20 students have been denied re-enrolment for the upcoming autumn semester and are now facing a repeat of their first year of university. The repeat comes due to the fact the Sharjah campus' programmes are not accredited by the UAE's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
"When I went in July to register for the new semester I was told my registration could not be accepted because the university was shutting down," said Hanif Khokan, 18. "Whenever we try to meet with the dean we're told he's unavailable; they're just totally ignoring us freshmen."
Samanjar Ashraf, 18, who was also denied re-enrolment to the Sharjah College, said she was told by university management the institution was shutting down due to the death of the Chancellor, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi.
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"The head of the university told me the recent death of the Chancellor has left the university with nobody to fund it and so that is why it is shutting down," she said.
However, both Khokan and Ashraf's claims have been categorically rejected by Dr Samir Odeh, Council Member and Acting Dean of the Sharjah institution. He told Gulf News the confusion is due to the university's restructure. "We are not closing, we are still running Troy University programmes, but are not admitting new students onto these programmes due to an institutional restructure," he said.
"It is normal not to take on new students when you restructure… [and] the death of the Chancellor is an internal matter and has nothing to do with this; institutions don't run based on one person."
The Troy University, ITS Sharjah Campus, founded in 2005, operates a system where students are in effect studying at the Sharjah College up until the end of their third term. After this they apply for enrolment to Troy University's undergraduate courses and are therefore awarded a degree from the US institution upon completion of the degree programme. This is why the institution's closure is only affecting the first and early second year students unregistered with Troy University.
"Other universities we are looking to transfer ask for our Troy transcripts, but our transcripts are from Sharjah College so they are rejecting them," said Khokan. "So this means we have to start our university studies from the very beginning and repeat our first year."
"Sharjah College is the teaching side of the Troy programme; so students initially enrol at Sharjah College for the first three semesters then put in an application for Troy admission," said Dr Odeh.