In 1997, a National Commission on Higher Education Reform was established by the Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research to identify the challenges which higher education is facing in Egypt and to define a strategy for education. This led to a National Conference in 2000 that aimed at having a long-term reform program within a period of 17 years. The major objectives of this reform were:
First, to raise the level of efficiency by granting universities more autonomy and by rationalizing government funding;
Second, to raise quality through faculty and staff training, as well as through the introduction of competitive funding;
Third, to improve the quality and relevance of mid-level technical education and raise its profile;
And fourth, to reform curricula, strengthens management and consolidate small institutions.
These objectives were prioritized according to the availability of funds. The government then endorsed six projects within the 5-year plan 2002-2007, namely, the Faculty and Leadership Development Project (FLDP), the Technical Colleges Project (TCP), the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Project (QAAP), the Faculties of Education Project (FOEP), the Information and Communication Technology Project (ICTP) and the Higher Education Enhancement Project Fund (HEEPF). The second phase of the reform started on 1 January 2009, where more focus was given to the preparation of higher education institutions for accreditation. The strategic plan for higher education reform has been set by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). The thinking behind this plan is that education improvements should involve the society at large and it has the following main objectives:
1. To increase the opportunities for higher education in Egypt.
2. To produce high quality graduates and strong research-based highly ranked academic institutions.
3. To motivate stakeholders to continuously improve, modernize and finance higher education institutions and their programs.
4. To enhance the creativity and innovation skills of the younger generations to play a role in the development and management of the production and service sectors, in line with the economic development plans.
5. To create higher education institutions (HEIs) and programs in a way that they are attractive for expatriates from neighboring countries to come to study in Egypt.
6. To foster the use of technology and facilitate lifelong-learning.
7. To develop – to the highest possible level – technical education and vocational training.
On the other hand, interest in the Bologna Process and its action lines in Egypt started soon after the beginning of the process itself (in 1999). To date, efforts to implement the Process and its action lines are being made by several universities and governance bodies (Supreme Council of Universities/Ministry of Higher Education, Universities’ presidency, etc.). In mid-2011, the Supreme Council of Universities has officially acknowledged that programs developed on the basis of ECTS system should be accredited, in the same way as those created through other systems of accreditation. Nevertheless, it is left to the faculties and the program creator to decide on which system of credits to adopt.