Ten new partnerships were signed yesterday Wednesday 30 November 2016, between UK and Egyptian universities as part of the UK and Egypt Partners in Education week with the senior education delegation currently visiting the UK. Cairo University, Ain Shams University, Alexandria University and Benha University are among the universities partnering with UK counterparts raising the number of Memorandum of Understandings between UK and Egyptian universities to a total of 30 this year alone.
The UK is supporting reform and change in Egyptian Higher Education and the British Council has delivered a programme to support public universities. This has helped undertake reforms which will create a more independent and internationalised system. Last year the two countries signed the first ever Government to Government Memorandum of Understanding which set out co-operation in Higher Education, Science and Research in particular to support Egypt’s ambitions for reform.
The British Council in Egypt leads on the relationships with Educational Egyptian government partners, bringing the expertise needed to support the change process. As a result, we have seen an increased engagement by British Universities in Egypt from new partnership agreements, to the growth of Trans-National Education in Egypt and the impact of Newton-Mosharafa, a £50million joint investment in science, research and innovation over the next 5 years.
HMA John Casson, British Ambassador in Cairo said “Immediate economic measures are important but on the long run, nothing is more important than providing world class education for Egypt’s young people. Renewing Egypt’s universities is a top priority for Britain in Egypt. the UK has four of the world’s top ten universities and a long history of partnership with Egypt. We are now opening a new chapter in this partnership which brings together the best of British institutions and the best of Egypt’s fantastic young minds”.
In addition, the success of the British Council’s work with Al Azhar University which has more than 500,000 students, teaching 600 theology undergraduates a year and sits at the centre of Sunni Islam, is opening up new opportunities for partnership with the PhD scholarship programme.
Dr Tarek Shawky, Chair, Presidential Council on Education, said: “It is a real delight for me to witness the signing of this historic memorandum between Egypt and the UK reflecting collaboration and real progress in areas of higher education, health education, the Egyptian Knowledge Bank among many others. This is an exemplary collaboration serving as a solid foundation for a greater forthcoming education re-thinking in Egypt.”
Simultaneously new partnerships around primary, secondary and technical education are in their early development stages between the two countries, including a project to improve educational outcomes across the school system.
Jeff Streeter, Country Director, British Council said: “We are proud to be working closely with the Egyptian Supreme Council of Universities and acting as a hub for UK and Egyptian Universities to encourage more collaboration and to give thousands of Egyptian students access to world-class education in Egypt. We at the British Council have always focused on education, as we believe that it is the most important means for developing one’s self and one’s nation.”