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MoE adds varsities, refutes accusations of bias in scholarships

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Higher Education announced Saturday opening the door for students to apply for human medicine scholarships in the Turkish Koc University for the 2023/2024 academic year on apply.ku.edu.tr. Meanwhile, the ministry announced that it will soon open registration for human medicine scholarships in the Turkish Hacettepe University for the 2024/2025 academic year.

Students can also apply for human medicine scholarships to study in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Malta, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and others, for the 2023/2024 academic year, the ministry noted. The announcement comes following a recent decision to suspend scholarships for Kuwaiti students who want to study medicine, pharmacy and dentistry in Jordan and Egypt. The decision, which was met with backlash by parliamentarians, was defended as an effort to improve the level of Kuwaiti medical professionals.

Lamyaa Al-Melhem, an official with the ministry, said the number of seats available for students wishing to apply for a program in any of the medical fields has been on the rise, with 1,100 seats provided for applicants in the year 2023-2024. This week, a parliamentarian criticized the government’s medical scholarship program, saying it was not fair to students who graduate from public schools, specifically because private schools have a different grading system which facilitates meeting requirements for these programs.

He further implied that the system gives an advantage to private school students, calling on the government to take the different grading methods into consideration when designing the scholarship program. However, the Ministry of Higher Education later released statistics that show otherwise. According to the ministry, 75.4 percent of students accepted in scholarships are from public schools.

Of that, 62 percent get into medical specialties. The ministry did not say how many students from public schools apply for scholarships as opposed to private school students. It’s also not clear whether any existing discrepancy has been taken into account when calculating the provided percentages.

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