As per Wikipedia, Egypt has the largest overall education system in the Middle East and North Africa and it has grown rapidly since the early 1990s and is currently after African cooperation in higher education .

According to the Human Development Index (HDI), Egypt is ranked 108 in the HDI, and 9 in the lowest 10 HDI countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa, in 2014.

The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency’s of the EU profiled the country with,   the higher education system in Egypt is made up of 18 public universities with more than 2.4 million students, 12 public non-university institutions, and 15 private (profit-making) universities providing technical and professional training.

Of the 12 non-university institutions, 8 are two year upper secondary-level technical institutes (MTI), and four- or five year higher education-level technical institutes.

Those are joined by 115 private (profit making) institutes giving the same type of education.

There are more than 63.000 teaching staff in the Egyptian higher education system.

Egyptian universities to forge links with African counterparts . . .

Wagdy Sawahel writes in University World News ( – Issue No: 175) that “Egypt plans to designate 2017 as a year of African cooperation in higher education, research and innovation with a view to enhancing the capacity of universities, increasing academic staff and student exchange, and promoting joint research and projects.”

According to the author, Ashraf al-Shehhi, Egypt’s minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and chair of the steering committee of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, or ADEA, announced “the plan at a meeting last month at the headquarters of the Supreme Council of Universities at Cairo University. The Egypt-Africa cooperation initiative will establish cooperative networks between Egyptian and African universities and their educational and technological institutions. It aims to increase the number of scholarships for African students in Egyptian universities, reduce tuition fees, and develop the scientific workforces needed for African development by providing training for African university staff and students within Egyptian universities.

Bid to grow international students

The initiative is in line with the Egyptian international student recruitment strategy, which seeks a fourfold increase in enrolment of Arab and African students in its higher education institutions – from 53,000 to 200,000 international students – in the next three years, according to a statement by the Supreme Council of Universities. Besides promoting the exchange of innovative ideas between Egyptian and African researchers, joint research will be carried out with financial support from the Tunisia-based African Development Bank. Under the initiative, the establishment of branches of Egyptian universities in African countries will be expanded and joint educational hubs will be set up.

‘Soft power diplomacy’

The opening of a branch of Alexandria University in the Chadian capital of N’Djamena, and Tong city, Warrap state in South Sudan, along with a branch of the University of Mansoura in Comoros, and a branch of Cairo University in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, is part of Egypt’s soft power diplomacy. The country is using universities to deepen and strengthen Egyptian political, economic and cultural relations with countries on the African continent.

Al-Azhar University – the oldest degree-awarding higher education institution in Egypt and among the very oldest in Africa – will provide training programmes and courses in Arabic and Islamic studies for African academics and students. A December 2012 report entitled Al-Azhar University and Post-revolutionary Egypt: What prospects for Africa? described the role of Al-Azhar as “a soft power of Egypt after Mubarak and its future prospects after the January revolution”.

Harmonisation of systems

The Egypt-Africa cooperation initiative will support the establishment of an association for African graduates from Egyptian universities, and will focus on creating structures and mechanisms to help harmonise Egyptian and African higher education systems to foster mutual recognition of degrees among universities. An Egyptian-African framework for qualifications will be drafted to make it easier to recognise degrees and their equivalence, and enable the mobility of students and academics. The initiative also includes the development of indicators to measure the efficiency of Egyptian-African cooperation in higher education, along with setting up a mechanism for follow-up.”