Kuwait University is to accept only 8,000 of the 11,200 applicants who submitted applications for university places before last Wednesday's deadline, said Education Minister Ahmad Al-Mulaifi on Thursday. Although the number matches that announced by the university earlier this month, the minister subsequently vowed last week to find places for at least 1,000 more new students at Kuwait's sole state university, which has been struggling with student overcapacity problems for some years.
Speaking at a press conference held directly after the latest meeting of the KU administrative board, Al-Mulaifi asserted that 1,000 additional applicants will be accepted at the university in the second semester of the upcoming academic year, whilst the remaining Kuwaiti applicants will be provided with other study opportunities, either through places at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training's (PAAET's) facilities, or with scholarships for Kuwait-based or overseas private universities.
KU Rector Dr Abdullatif Al-Badr cast doubt on the minister's plan for the university to admit a further 1,000 students in the second semester of the upcoming academic year, however, insisting that the 8,000 successful applicants will be the only ones admitted to the university throughout the whole of the next term. On another issue, Al-Mulaifi also indicated during the press conference that the ban on coeducation, which has been blamed by many for exacerbating problems at KU, will remain in place since the
government has not yet addressed the possibility of lifting it.
Meanwhile, education is not just books and information memorized to be re-uttered or rewritten, but is the conversion of values into behavior and practices, Al-Mulaifi said. In statements on the sidelines of a ceremony held by the Scientific Center to honor 70 volunteers in the summer program for 2011 Thursday night, Al-Mulaifi added that the next generation will be an active partner in developing and writing the history of this nation.
This generation gives us hope and makes us look to the future with optimism and shoulder us a great responsibility in creating the contingent atmosphere for it to work," the minister noted. He described the volunteer program as a true manifestation to the values of citizenship and patriotism. "This nation deserves a lot," he said, adding that the challenges facing Kuwait are huge and need a lot for hard work.