Nature Middle East | House of Wisdom

Mixed results to Egyptian university professors general strike

<img alt=“Cairo University.jpg” align=right src=“http://blogs.nature.com/houseofwisdom/images/Cairo%20University.jpg” width=“280” height=“204” />A full strike organized since the first academic day by university professors from over 19 Egyptian universities, calling for the removal of all university leaders appointed during the previous regime’s rule, has seen several gains. However, it was not free from sporadic violence either.

The protesters wanted to replace all university presidents, deans and department heads appointed before the 25 January revolution through a transparent electoral process. The interim government has promised this will take place before the start of the academic year, but stopped short of forcing university leaders to resign. This prompted the professors to threaten a full strike.

Hossam Kamel, president of Cairo University, Egypt’s oldest university, resigned a few weeks earlier but was reselected through elections held in the university, thus becoming the first elected university president of Cairo University since its establishment in 1908.

Beni Suef University, Beni Suef, has also completed its elections for the post of university president along with Benha University, Benha.

In Ain Shams University, Cairo’s second biggest university, the president and all other university leaders have resigned and a timetable for the new elections was set in place, which will start with the deans in mid-October and end with the university president on 24 November.

However, things went less smoothly in Alexandria University. An open-strike by some 200 students in support of the professors’ demands was violently dispersed, according to eyewitnesses.

This came as the university president, Hend Hanafawy, continues to refuse to step down. The students vowed to continue their sit-in until she resigns, along with all deans.

In another incidence, 15 students were injured after the president of Mansoura University, Mansoura, <a href=”http://bikyamasr.com/45767/egypt-15-students-injured-after-university-dean-runs-them-over/ “>allegedly ran them over with his car when they tried to block his way with their protest.

University professors have vowed to continue their strike, although stressing it will be a partial strike rather than a full strike, to reduce the disruptive effect they are having in students. Students in all universities continue to hold protests in support of the demands of the professors.

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    Karim Zaki said:

    I think this is far from over.

    I read that the results of the voting in Cairo University were cancelled due to some legal issues…