UK universities welcomed to Egypt

25 June 2018

​A high-level delegation of UK university representatives is being welcomed to Egypt by the Prime Minister His Excellency Engineer Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research His Excellency Dr Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar. The trip is to explore higher education and research collaboration.

It follows a successful visit by His Excellency Dr Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar to the UK in January 2018 during which a bilateral governmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed. This set out expectations of the conditions under which UK universities would be able to establish international branch campuses (IBCs) in Egypt.

The UK delegation is led by Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International (UUKi). The event was organised in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the British Embassy in Cairo and the British Council in Egypt.

During a series of high-level meetings, the delegation will discuss:

  • How UK universities can respond to and support the Egyptian government's aims under their national sustainable development strategy Egypt Vision 2030, for the mutual benefit of both countries and their higher education sectors.
  • The wide range of potential partnerships between Egypt and the UK including, but not limited to, IBCs; building on a position of comparative sector strength strategic. This includes: partnerships; collaborative research; student and staff exchange programmes; joint funding applications; and capacity building.
  • The UK's interest in engaging both in the capital and across the country.
  • The success of current UK-Egypt higher education partnerships.

During a meeting on 25 June between the delegation and His Excellency Dr Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR) and the University of Liverpool signed an MoU. This outlines a range of options for collaboration including joint research activities, academic staff and student mobility and the potential to develop an international branch campus in Egypt in the future.

The University of Liverpool was the first to establish the study of Egyptian archaeology with the appointment of John Garstang in 1902. The university remains the largest centre for Egyptology research in the UK and now focuses on the preservation and access to important cultural heritage assets.  

Senior representatives from the following universities and organisations have joined Vivienne Stern: Coventry University; Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh; University of Portsmouth; University of East Anglia; Edinburgh Napier University; Cardiff Metropolitan University; University of Hertfordshire; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Leicester; University of Liverpool; Manchester Metropolitan University; UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office; UK Department for Business; Energy and Industrial Strategy; UK Department for International Trade; and British Council Egypt.

The programme includes meetings with the Presidents of: Cairo University; Ainshams University; Helwan University; Mansoura University; Suez Canal University; American University in Cairo; Future University; New Giza University; Alexandria University; Zewail City of Science and Technology; and E-JUST University. The group will also engage with the Supreme Council of Universities; the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education (NAQAAE); and the New Capital Development Authority.

Egypt is currently the fifth largest host country worldwide of UK transnational education – with over 19,800 students enrolled on UK programmes. The number of UK-Egypt co-authored research papers is also increasing, bolstered by bilateral initiatives such as the Newton-Mosharafa Fund, and the UK is currently Egypt's fourth largest international research collaboration partner (source: SciVal).

Vivienne Stern comments: "UK and Egyptian universities have been working together for many years. It's extremely important that we expand access to the highest quality of education to Egypt's large youth population. It is exciting to mark the growth of UK-Egyptian university engagement across a variety of areas, particularly in the last five years: the delivery of UK degrees in Egypt; Egyptian scholars welcomed to the UK; and research collaboration. This high-level delegation is the next step in an ongoing relationship that saw the UK's Minister for Higher Education and Industrial Strategy, Sam Gyimah, sign an MoU on establishing branch campuses in Egypt with His Excellency Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, in January."

University of Liverpool Vice Chancellor and President of Universities UK, Professor Dame Janet Beer says: "The University of Liverpool has an established reputation for its capabilities in developing international higher education partnerships. Strengthening our global reach in education and research is at the heart of our vision for the University's future. The UK and Egypt have a strong bilateral relationship supporting the development of mutually beneficial partnerships in education, research and innovation and we are delighted that our governments have put such an emphasis on higher education co-operation. We are grateful for the support of the British Ambassador in Egypt and the British Council. The visit provides an opportunity for us to better understand the models of collaboration that will have the greatest impact."

Acting Country Director for the British Council in Egypt Alex Lambert says: "Years of work strengthening relationships in the international education sector lie behind a high-level meeting like this. The British Council has 80 years of experience developing education partnerships with the government of Egypt, working to build ties between organisations here and in the UK to provide international opportunities for young people."

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