CAIRO: As the crackdown on university students continues in response to violent protests that have been ongoing since the first day of classes on Oct. 11, Cairo University has punished students with expulsion and by creating a list that not only bans them from that institution, but also bans them from future enrollment at all Egyptian universities.
Ten students have so far been placed on a preliminary list banning them from other universities
Cairo University President Gaber Nassar said in a press conference on Oct. 27 that the Supreme Council of Universities raised restrictions on students by deciding that suspended students should neither be admitted in other public or private universities.
Nassar added that the selected students are ones identified in video footage captured by security cameras during protests earlier in October.
“Cairo University put up a list of ten suspended students at the university entrance. Most of them are students at the Faculty of Science,” Ahmed Nada, a student at the Faculty of Political Science at Cairo University told The Cairo Post Sunday.
On Oct. 29, a list of names of banned students was published by Youm7. It included five students from the Faculty of Science, three from the Faculty of Dar Al-Uloom for Arabic and Islamic Literature Studies, one from the Faculty of Literature and one from the Faculty of Commerce.
Among the students featured is Ramy Kotb Abdul Tawab, reportedly from the Faculty of Science. In statements to Youm7 released on Nov. 2, Abdul Tawab said he graduated in 2013 and “hasn’t set foot in the university since.”
Abdul Tawab added that for that specific day, he signed an attendance sheet at his work backing up his alibi, and denied any participation in university protests.
When the list was first released, social media users mocked the Cairo University decision, claiming it had suspended already graduated students. The university responded to the allegations quickly, and on Nov. 1 released a press statement stating that university graduates will be forbidden from pursuing higher degrees at the university or any other university.
The news reported by Youm7 attached a copy from a letter sent by the university’s legal committee concerning the suspension of Abdul Tawab. It read: “It has been decided that Ramy Kotb Abdul Tawab will be suspended from high studies if registered, and forbidden from applying to studies if he wishes to due to his participation in violent protests. The student is also not allowed to apply for jobs at the university.”
Cairo University Science professor and university independence activist Hany el-Hosseiny described the system as “disorganized,” and said the university administration will have to reconsider its measures.
“Personally, I don’t even think the mentioning of students who have graduated was intended; it was probably a mistake that has not been properly revised by the decision maker, and then they tried to cover it up,” Hosseiny said in comments to The Cairo Post.
Additional reporting by Wael Rabei and Hani Mohamed.