Traffic chaos on roads leading to Sabah Al-Salem University

KUWAIT: Kuwait University's new campus in Shadadiya received yesterday morning the first batch of students for the first semester of the new 2019-2020 academic year. But the roads leading to Sabah Al-Salem University witnessed chaos and traffic jams, as classes began for 22,000 students of six university colleges. Education Minister Hamed Al-Azmi visited the campus, where he was received by Kuwait University President Hussein Al-Ansari and university officials.

KUWAIT: Cars are stuck in a traffic jam on a road leading to the new campus. - Photos by KUNA and Fouad Al-Shaikh

Azmi affirmed that opening six faculties in Shadadiya is in line with guidelines set by the political leadership that has much concern for the youth. Azmi in a statement to KUNA after his tour of the new KU campus that the "university city constitutes the basis for promoting academic teaching to the required international levels, improve the university's rating and habilitate a new academic generation".

Establishment of the new KU campus is a turning point in the march of university education, Azmi added. He congratulated HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, academicians and students on this huge leap for modernizing the Kuwaiti educational sector. Building the new KU facility has practically attained the prime goal of expanding higher education, he said, noting that the buildings and halls have been equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

In a statement, Ansari said that the start of classes at the new campus is a distinctive step and a new addition to Kuwait University. He expressed congratulations on the start of the new academic year and thanked KU members and academic staff for providing all opportunities to students to increase their educational level and improve their scientific and practical experiences at various university colleges.

KUWAIT: Students are seen at Kuwait University's new campus in Shadadiya yesterday.

The traffic problems at the campus led many students and professors to express their dissatisfaction on social media via videos, memes and angry comments. Khalid Al-Saud, a student who posted a video on Twitter of the traffic jam at the university yesterday morning, said he was upset about having to wait a long time in the traffic. "I think the lack of gates is the cause of this chaos. Also, the roads could not absorb the large number of students who came today," he told Kuwait Times. Saud however praised the architectural design of the university, adding the classrooms looked great.

Noura, another student, said opening Sabah Al-Salem University is the first step of Kuwait's educational development and progress, but said authorities have to solve the problems of traffic congestion that they experienced at the old campus in Kaifan. "We hope that the problems of old Kuwait University will not be repeated at Sabah Al-Salem University. The management must work to avoid the problems that occurred previously over traffic congestion and parking, especially since there is an increase in students and faculty members," she said.

Kuwait University Deputy Director General for Development Adel Al-Husseinan said the university witnessed operation of a large part of its campus, which includes six colleges of Education, Arts, Business Administration, Life Sciences, Science and Engineering and Petroleum. Husseinan called on students to make better use of their time and university facilities, which in turn will reflect on their educational achievement. The new faculties utilize modern scientific methods in the classrooms that help professors give lectures with the best methods, he added.

Dean of Admission and Registration Ali Al-Mutairi and Dean of Student AffairsAli Al-Nami congratulated the students on the start of the academic year at the new campus, wishing them a fruitful year and for KU to become one of the distinguished universities. Classes were launched at the new campus with a special learning environment and services that contribute to improving the educational process and pushing students to do more to reach the highest ranks.

The 490-hectare Sabah Al-Salem University City has four gates. The traffic lights near the university turn red very quickly, barely allowing cars to approach. It is easier to reach the university through the new bridge on Sixth Ring Road off Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh instead of the inside streets of Farwaniya.

Meanwhile, the administrative court yesterday adjourned hearing a case demanding suspending the transfer of Kuwait University to the new Shadadiya campus pending the government's response. The case was filed because construction at the campus is still in progress, which could endanger the lives of students. (Material from KUNA used in this report)

By Faten Omar