Professors and Students Unite to Oppose Cuts to Lebanon’s Only Public University

Source: Waging Nonviolence

Over the last month and a half, a strike by faculty and student-led sit-ins and demonstrations against austerity measures effectively shut down Lebanese University, Lebanon’s only public university.

Regular protests — drawing hundreds of students, faculty members and organizations from different schools, cities and political affiliations — took place in downtown Beirut.

On June 18, students, joined by supporters from independent clubs, demonstrated in front of the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Learning, marching from there to the headquarters of the League of Lebanese University Full Time Professors, a state-led organization in a neighborhood south of Beirut.

The demonstrations stood in support for the professors’ right to strike. Teachers and supporting students held banners with slogans such as “We oppose paying the price of Lebanese University’s corruption.”

Not backing down

A statement issued by Lebanese University president Fouad Ayoub on June 19 warned professors against continuing their strike. In addition, the statement limited professors’ travel during the school year, telling them that they need “special permission” to travel and that it will be approved only in “special cases.”

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