Recent or Upcoming Structural Changes or Reforms

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.

Strategic Objectives for Higher Education to 2030:
The strategic vision addresses both the supply and demand sides, and aims to empower governance and its role in planning and monitoring. Demand for higher education services is expected to surge when citizens feel the actual value-added from quality education that complies with global standards, at the level of the teacher, the curricula, and other media that enables competitiveness. On the other hand, the supply side addresses the availability of higher education for all without discrimination, including males and females, rural and urban dwellers, taking into consideration geographic distribution. The Ministry of Higher Education and its different subsidiaries should plan, follow-up, and implement programs and policies without conflicts of interests. In this framework three strategic objectives determining the strategic trend of higher education to 2030 have been set forth.

The First Objective is entirely responsible for the educational system’s quality, including application of global accreditation and quality standards via local accreditation of high education institutions by the National Authority for Education Quality Assurance and Accreditation. This objective is represented in having a student capable of innovation and creation, one that can keep pace with the labor market and create job opportunities to advance the economy to reach a sustainable up-to-date economy. 

The Second Objective is responsible for providing high-quality educational services for all students, including the provision of adequate classrooms in rural and urban areas, for males and females, and for all classes of society. 

The Third Objective covers increasing quality, accessibility, and competitiveness. This strategy aims at activating the dynamic relationship between the educational process and the labor market’s requirements through graduating students that are able to seize market opportunities and even create such opportunities in order to achieve sustainable economic development that is based on knowledge and innovation. (p 203-210)