Students at the British University in Egypt (BUE) took control of the university auditorium on Saturday, demanding the current administration resign over allegations of corruption. The students are accusing the administration of squandering student funds and being part of the former regime.
Muhammad Kamal, the assistant to the president of the BUE student union, said that at the time of writing students have taken complete control of the auditorium.
Over the past two days an anonymous student known as “the socialist student” has sent out emails which allegedly contain proof of corruption, including pictures of members of the administration alongside members of the old regime.
“We are demanding the fall of the administration, including the president and his assistant, as well as the vice president,” Kamal said. He accused the administration of intentionally lowering students’ grades in order to revoke their scholarships. “They are giving people lower marks in order to have their scholarships revoked so that the administration can make more money,” Kamal claimed.
The BUE is accredited in the United Kingdom, but students say that the administration does not provide any of the services students are paying for except official results.
“We pay a boatload of money every year, and where does our money go?” Kamal asked. “The university is meant to be a non-profit organisation, but despite this the students lack all the resources. We pay for transportation but are not provided with suitable forms of transportation.”
Kamal said the University claims it sets aside EGP 1m a year for the student activities budget. The protesters say that they do not believe students receive the entire amount.
“We don’t have a bank account and can’t pay for any of our activities,” Kamal said, adding that the university schedules one or two minor activities each year. “Our union also has no authority in board meetings.”
Some of the violations listed by the protesters include the university demanding petroleum engineering and chemistry students pay an increased fee for their certificates, which the union says exceeds the required amount. The university has also deliberately hindered any activity that seeks to spread awareness and public culture among students, protesters say.
Kamal said the students were ready to occupy the campus for as long as necessary to overturn the current administration. “We will fight for our rights; the people demand the fall of the administration.”
Walls across campus, particularly in the auditorium and the president’s office, are covered in posters and handwritten demands set forth by the student union. “The administration is not interested in talking to us,” Kamal added. “The vice president is hiding in the dean’s office and cannot enter his own. We rule the university now and we will remain here for as long as we have to.”
Earlier on Saturday a minor scuffle broke out between campus security and a protester. Kamal says protesters put an end to the incident and have managed to avoid any further conflict.