Internationally Mobile Students

  • Relevant legal structure: Since the early 1900s, Egypt has adopted a system of “Scientific Missions” aimed at enhancing research, education and development in Egypt based on the transfer of technology and know-how from scholars who travel to various parts of the world and obtain degrees and qualifications from abroad. According to the Universities’ Law (1972) and its amendments, Egyptian faculty members may travel overseas both for short and long exchanges, which can take the form of either post-doctoral missions/grants, visiting professors or long-term sabbatical leave, and short-term participation in conferences, training and other forms of capacity development. In recent years, the Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research has adopted a co-funding policy with respect to outbound missions, in which the Ministry shares its resources with various funding organizations in order to maximize the benefit from available resources. This has resulted, for example, in the creation of two schemes of co-funded mobility with Germany; one short term (3-6 months), and another long term (2-3 years). It is worth mentioning that no clear policy is available with respect to the mobility of undergraduate students, but mobility for post-graduate students is highly encouraged through governmental funds for long term or short term programs.
  • Institutional support available: In addition to those governmental funds, many Egyptian scholars have benefitted from bilateral exchange programs with various countries of the world (U.S., Canada, France, the UK, Germany, etc.). Such missions are regulated by the Ministry in order to address issues of high importance to Egypt (Strategic Research Areas).
  • Statistics: The number of students visiting Egypt under the Fulbright scheme is around 100 per year. The entire number of both foreign and Egyptian students who have benefitted from a Fulbright grant is around 5,000 over the past 60 years of its support to Egypt. Most international students in Egypt are from the Arab world. The number of foreign students enrolled in all Egyptian HEIs in 2003/2004 was 29,297. The number of foreign students enrolled in private universities is superseding those enrolled in public universities, while Al-Azhar University continues to host the highest number of foreign students, mainly Asian and African students seeking theological education. Most of these students receive a grant for studying at Al-Azhar that covers study and accommodation expenses. It is also noticeable that among the public universities, Cairo, Ain Shams and Alexandria Universities attract most of the international students., p.8-9