Sam Gyimah signs MoU on branch campuses with Egypt's Minister of Higher Education

23 January 2018

​The UK's new Minister for Higher Education and Industrial Strategy, Sam Gyimah, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on establishing branch campuses in Egypt with His Excellency Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Universities UK International (UUKi) has supported the development of the MoU which outlines the conditions under which UK universities will be able to establish branch campuses in Egypt. It follows sustained growth in UK-Egypt higher education partnerships which have increased substantially since the signing of a government to government MoU on education, research and innovation in 2015 which opened the doors to new opportunities.

UUKi has worked with the sector and Egyptian and UK government stakeholders to identify conditions that would enable universities to establish standalone, autonomous international branch campuses in Egypt.

There was a 35% increase in the number of students studying for UK university programmes within Egypt in the two years from 2013-14 to 2015-16.

The 2015-16 figures show that nearly 20,000 students in Egypt were studying for UK degrees, mainly through joint programmes. This ranks Egypt as the fifth largest host country for UK transnational education, taking just over 5% of the total worldwide UK higher education transnational education provision. It is also the top country in the Middle East North Africa region.

 The focus of these new branch campuses will be to:

  • Support Egypt's internationalisation ambitions

  • Support the priorities laid out in Egypt's 2030 economic strategy by providing education to meet the country's labour-force needs

  • Help grow capacity within Egypt's higher education sector (including its research community)

  • Increase research and innovation collaboration as well as opportunities for student and staff mobility  

Minister Abdel Ghaffar said, "This MoU is a symbol of continued collaboration, cooperation and mutual understanding between our governments and our university communities. The opportunity for UK universities to establish International Branch Campuses in Egypt will support Egypt's internationalisation ambitions and labour market demands. We are excited to see how IBCs will contribute to the fabric of Egypt's higher education landscape and be catalysts for broader international partnerships between the UK and Egypt in research, innovation and mobility." 

Vivienne Stern, Director, UUKi comments: "This is an exciting opportunity for the UK to establish new forms of transnational education in Egypt. It marks another significant step in the strong relationship between the UK and Egyptian higher education sectors. The quantity and depth of UK-Egypt partnerships has been growing steadily over recent years and there is clear demand to expand this further. This is a unique example of the UK being invited to support the development of a new framework enabling new opportunities for transnational education. I'm delighted that Universities UK International could facilitate this MoU and look forward to seeing UK university provision in Egypt continue to grow."

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