UMCG wants to expel ‘unsuitable’ dentistry student

The UMCG wants to definitively remove dentistry student Marwa Mejalad from their programme. According to the board, her behaviour has shown that she is not suitable to practise the profession she’s training for. 

The conflict between Mejalad and the department has been ongoing for years. Mejalad says that an exam she passed in 2015 wasn’t input in Progress correctly. According to her, lecturers have had it out for her ever since, attempting to sabotage her studies.

Code of conduct

The UMCG sees the situation differently. The hospital says that Mejalad hasn’t been acting according to the programme’s code of conduct. She has trouble working with others, is unable to communicate in a ‘business-like and dignified manner’ and refuses to change her behaviour.

Mejalad didn’t show up to tutor meetings or mandatory classes, refused to leave an exam she hadn’t registered for, and bombarded lecturers at the department with so many insulting emails that they no longer felt safe at work.

Security more than once had to escort Mejalad off the premises. An external coach was hired to do something about her behaviour, but to no avail.

Cooling off

The situation derailed to such an extent that the UMCG felt forced to block her email account and ban her from UMCG premises. The hospital also threatened to start injunction proceedings if she didn’t stop sending emails. 

But this cooling-off period didn’t help. The documents that Mejalad shared with UKrant show that she continued to send emails over the summer. Not just to the UMCG’s lawyer, but also to the dentistry department itself.

This, the UMCG says, proves that ‘her behaviour and her statements show that she is unsuitable to practise the profession she is being trained for, as well as its practical preparation.’ 

Far-reaching

The department is aware that the consequences of their decisions are far-reaching. But, it says, ‘[Miss Mejalad] has time and again decided to keep communicating the way she did, acting against her own best interests. We can no longer ask the faculty to allow its staff and students to be exposed to the behaviour and emails of Miss Mejalad.’

The fact that she has only earned 57 ECTS since 2015, and that these points expire this year, would also mean there’s no reasonable expectation of her finishing the programme.

Compensation

Mejalad wants the UMCG to pay her 420,000 euros in damages. She also feels she should be able to keep her ECTS and that she should be given her own office where she can study. 

She has until Thursday, September 15, to tell the rest of the side of her story. That’s when the board of directors will make a decision in the matter.

‘It’s like a joke, like the whole thing is a set-up’, says Mejalad. ‘They just “happen” to be introducing a new curriculum this year, and now they want to get rid of me? They have another thing coming.’

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I think you and the university administration have been ignoring the signs of mental health issues the student is likely suffering from. I am kind of relieved that she keeps escalating the situation, simply so that she can get the care that she clearly needs.

  2. I think it is strange that you’re still using her full name. It doesnt matter who is “right or wrong” you could have given her a synonym easily and still reported about the case easily. The comments of the other article in May say the same. You shouldnt include her full name, since this is a delicate topic.

    • Marwa has said, also prior to the first publication in May, that she wants to be mentioned by her full name. In fact, she didn’t want the story to be published without it. (RS)

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