Higher Education Reform In Egypt - Raafat Hagras

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Higher Education Reform In Egypt - Raafat Hagras

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Higher Education Reform in Egypt:

A Bologna Process-Based Cooperation Proposal
Prepared by: Mr. Raafat Hagras
Executive Summary

Accessibility and lifelong learning Egypt is going through the second phase of its Higher Education Reform plan. The first phase started in 2003 and ended in 2008. The second phase started in January 2009 and will last for 4 years. Egypt believes that its increasing population is an asset and not a liability. It is the responsibility of the government to professionally and scientifically prepare and qualify this human resource for developing opportunities and increasing the national income which , in turn, will improve the people’s standards of living. A strategic plan was set for such Higher education reform in 2000 with reform objectives stated as increasing accessibility, achieving equity, increasing education quality, emphasizing research and technology, and competing with bench-marked higher education in the region. The principles of such reform plan includes:

a. Accessibility

b. Lifelong Learning

c. Equity in Higher education

d. Quality Assurance and Accreditation

e. Flexibility and Mobility

f. Competitiveness

g. Technology-based education

h. Research-based education

i. Labor Market-Driven Education

j. Human resources are the key for HE Enhancement

k. Foreign languages are the gate to communicate with the world

l. Technical education and vocational training

m. Internationalization

The Bologna Process had started only few years before the higher education reform plan in Egypt. The European Union extended cooperation to the neighboring countries east and south of the Mediterranean, Egypt has taken part in the TEMPUS projects.

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Because of historical, geographical, economic and political reasons, Egypt sees Europe to have high potential in terms of helping in the Egyptian reform of higher education. Areas of cooperation in this regard may include: the structure of the education system that would allow readability, comparability of degrees and certificates, quality assurance and accreditation, lifelong learning, students and teachers mobility, faculty and leadership development, and research and innovation. This proposal also refers to the abovementioned areas of cooperation and suggests a mechanism of such cooperation including the formation of a joint team of Bologna promoters, setting a plan of activities and providing enough budget for such plan. Suggested priorities for such cooperation include mapping the system of education in Egypt to that of Europe (L,M,D and ECTS), encouraging mobility, joint programs, and centers of excellence in teaching and research. Cooperation activities should start however with dissemination to the Egyptian higher education institutions of the Bologna process , its components, progress, difficulties, lessons learnt.
s and research centers.
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Contents of the Document

1. Introduction

2. Objectives of Higher Education Reform in Egypt

3. Principles of Higher Education Reform in Egypt

4. Proposed Areas for Egypt-EU cooperation in Higher Education Reform

5. Suggested mechanism and priorities for cooperation

Used Abbreviations

HE Higher Education System

MOHE Ministry of Higher Education

HEI Higher Education Institutions

QA Quality Assurance in Education

HR Human Resources

ICT Information and Communication Technology

WB World Bank

NAQAAE National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Education

EU European Union
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1. Introduction

Among all countries in the Middle East, the relationship between Egypt and Europe is as ancient as Cleopatra. Exchange and transfer of knowledge both ways has always been an important aspect in this relationship. An significant part of the Egyptian history can be seen in museums around Europe. On the other hand, current Egyptian education systems are mainly based on similar European systems. The first cycle of the strategic plan of Higher education reform in Egypt started in 2003 and finished at the end of 2008. The focus of this cycle was on number of issues such as development of faculty members and motivating them for academic competition, information and communication technology and infrastructure, quality assurance and accreditation concepts and procedures, and also enhancing technical higher education. Reasonable degree of success was obtained from the first cycle but more needs to be done in the second cycle which started on January 1st , 2009. More focus is given to the preparation of higher education institutions for accreditation. The strategic plan of higher education reform has been set by Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). This plan has stated that enhancing education should be performed with the involvement of the society at large. Stakeholders of HE institutions include students, graduates, employers of graduates, suppliers, academic and non-academic staff, non-governmental organizations, sponsors, community groups, and of course the government. They should all be involved in a policy and consistent procedures to monitor, finance, and evaluate the quality of education. External views and comments of stakeholders can be captured through surveys, forums, focus group meetings. Higher education institutions (HEI) engage stakeholders in the quality enhancement process through membership of faculty councils, membership of committees for curricular development, or generally engaging them in different phases of the internal review process conducted by quality assurance units in each faculty. Higher education enhancement project fund strengthened the cooperation and integration between industry and HE institutions.

2. Objectives of Higher Education Reform in Egypt

The main objectives of higher education reform in Egypt can be summarized as follows:

1. To increase the opportunities for higher education in Egypt.

2. To assure a quality educated graduate and strong research-based highly ranked academic institutions.
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3. To motivate stakeholders to continuously improve, modernize, and finance the higher education institutions and programs

4. To enhance creativity and innovation skills of young generation to lead and advance production and service sectors in the economic development plans.

5. To prepare HEI’s and programs be 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.

3. Principles of Higher Education Reform in Egypt

The Strategy of higher education reform in Egypt is based on the following principles:

Accessibility
Egypt believes that education is the vehicle for economic development. It also believes that education is the natural way for improving one’s position, income, and class in the society. Therefore the country is committed to providing free education both at the university level and at pre-university level. However, the demand of higher education in Egypt is growing rapidly and the plan for higher education reform includes increasing access to higher education for young people in the relevant age (17-23). There is a rapid growing demand for higher education as result of (a) a demographic surge in the higher education age group; (b) the clear expansion of access at the pre-university level (see the trends in general secondary education); (c) the social image of the higher education graduates (d) the overly generous subsidies to university students, including free room and board. Moreover, current secondary education system does not provide students with competences required for the labor market. Therefore, being enrolled in any higher education program is the only alternative to gain these core skills. In addition, societal system of rewarding higher education extra monetary benefits in ore cases individuals to pursue higher education
Following the rank of Egypt in the Human development report and the World competitiveness report and knowing that quantity of education is one of the main pillars of WFI or HDI, have directed the Egyptian government to opt to widening the access to HE and ensuring good quality. This aim is a challenging aspiration. The first challenge is the overcrowded universities. This in turn has its implications on the learning and teaching process. In the meantime, the lengthy years, of HE, programs increase the student cost and indirectly reduces the capacity of HEIs because of the need to accommodate the students of such long






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programs. Encouraging private higher education is an important policy of the HE reform in Egypt to increase accessibility to higher education. In 1996 the private universities’ law was issued to encourage expansion in private higher education institutions. The idea was to increase higher education opportunities, and to create competition for excellence between public and private universities. Started with 4 universities in 1996 , the number of private universities has increased in 2008 to 17 plus the American university in Cairo. However the private universities in Egypt absorb only 8% of the students enrolled in the university education in Egypt. Efforts of the government to encourage such universities include providing them with faculty members on full time or part time basis, and facilitate the procedures of establishment with tax exemption up to 2008. The private higher education, although is growing and absorbing a small percentage of students . However, this has added legal, supervisory, financial and management burden to the regulatory, and quality assurance bodies.

Lifelong learning
Lifelong Learning has became an important issue in Egypt for a number of reasons: 1) it helps economic and social development through providing a way to change and upgrade qualifications of the labor force to suit the changing labor market needs, 2) It achieves some level of social justice , and self fulfillment when it opens up opportunities for individuals to regain the education they missed because they had to pursue other pathways of work or family reasons, 3) it helps reduce the burden (in terms of cost and crowed) on the formal age-related education system, and 4) it helps society at large to absorb new technology and deal with modern systems. Neither age nor education background should be a barrier for one’s ambition to study more or in a different field as long as the prerequisite for the education program is fulfilled. The way to ensure practicality and implementation of this concept is to provide enough opportunities through formal , and non-formal education and training programs with appropriate requirements for enrollment. The success of such programs depends mostly on the government formal effort to ensure the following:

Providing educational and training programs in diversified fields and disciplines

Reducing constraints of age or program duration

Subsidizing these programs such that cost may not be an inhibiting factor for enrolment

Recognition of the degrees and certificates resulting from such programs
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Providing multiple access to individuals with good reasons for re-entry
Europe declared the year of 1996 to be the year of lifelong learning during which many countries in Europe have increased access and facilitated the entry to education throughout life time. Egypt has also been trying to promote the concept lifelong learning. However challenges to these endeavors include:

• Social culture that does not encourage the person to go to school at old age

• The cost of such education may not enable some of the low income people to get into these programs

• Some people still prefer regular school program for their kids even if they need them to work to help support the family

• Although it exists on small scale, changing careers is not yet a usual practice in Egypt as a result of a long time commitment of the government to employ graduates.

• Logistics problems like traffic, working times, female-related traditions , and communications problems do limit the number of people going to continuing education programs specially that held in the evening

Equity
Egypt has always been the leader in the Arab countries and in the region to maintain equity between citizens in higher education. Urban and rural area equity is considered in the strategic master plan of higher education in Egypt. Gender equity is assured by the central admission system to all public and private universities in which only the GPA in high school exam (Thanawya Amma) is the decisive factor. In fact there are additional faculties that accept only girls (Faculty of girls in Ain Shams University, and to most recently all faculties of nursing). The result is that many colleges (e.g Medicine, Pharmacy, Science and of course Art and literature ) have more female students than male students.

Quality Assurance and Accreditation

The Egyptian government has realized the need for maintaining quality in higher education programs to assure appropriate and competitive qualification for the graduates. To guarantee that , the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Education (NAQAAE) was established in 2007 and is currently operational. The HE reform plan is emphasizing the importance of quality standards in the design and implementation of all academic programs.
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The rapid expansion of HE has not been matched with a corresponding increase in public funding, human resources, and facilities and hence capacity to implement quality assurance plans was negatively affected. Therefore, the way in which policies can be translated into action necessitates articulation of QA issues explicitly in such policies. In this context, the government allocated a budget of one billion EGP for preparing public universities for accreditation through Continuous Improvement and Qualifying for Accreditation Project (CIQAP) over years 2007-2012. Through this project, faculties were allowed to apply to get a fund of 5 to ≥10 million EGP/each to implement an action plan for improvement of the undergraduate/graduate educational process, enhancing research and community service activity and sustaining its internal QA system.

Flexibility and Mobility

Globalization, diversification, and rapid economic growth require education systems to be flexible such that the student can change and reroute his education path according to changing job opportunities. On the other hand as demographics of neighboring countries change, opportunities open up for temporary or permanent jobs in specific fields which may encourage mobility between these countries. This very fact requires education programs to encourage mobility by facilitating transfer of credits and periods of study as well as mutual recognition of academic institutions.

Competitiveness

As almost all economic activities, education has become an economic good. It definitely adds value to its user. Egypt believes that good, competitive, and internationally recognized HE institutions and programs will increase the country’s national income directly and indirectly. Different countries are competing in providing good quality higher education not only to increase the value of their citizens and in turn the power of their economy, but also to offer this important good to students from other countries. Until recently Egypt has always been the center for education in the Arab world and some African countries. It is now expanding its education programs across the borders to reach gulf countries. Cairo University, Sadat Academy , and other Egyptian HE institutions are opening education facilities in some Arab gulf states.
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HE reform plans in Egypt are considering the competition of other HE institutions in the region in terms of quality, cost, and flexibility.

Technology-based education

As information and communication technology has taken the worlds by storm. It has had great implications on all aspects of life including education, health, public services, and economic activities. Many other applications of new technology have been adopted in production methods, construction, agriculture, banks, etc. so that almost every job a graduate can get involves some type of technology use. Therefore, reform of higher education should include the latest ICT technology, and the up-to-date education equipments, labs, and communication techniques and tools. This must be incorporated in education programs , teaching methods, skill development and professional preparation. E-learning is an example of using technology in HE reform in Egypt .

Research-based education

It has been proven that scientific research plays an important role in improving education. As knowledge accumulates from the results of good research, it is reflected in the common body of knowledge that students should learn. Therefore institutions who possess good research programs usually have good education programs. The key is that professors who work on research always have something to add to their students. HE reform plan in Egypt considers the importance of research in improving the education process. It is also concerned with ways and means of disseminating research and making it available for the students to consult in their projects, papers, and presentations.

Labor Market-Driven Education

Globalization has taken the world by storm. As a result economic interaction and culture dissemination through information networks (i.e. the internet ), and satellite TV channels requires knowledge of international languages (e.g. English). Any successful education system must be based on multiple languages and not only local languages. If the main objective of education is to qualify people for specific job or function, it is logical that these programs of education (i.e. qualification) are based on the knowledge and skills required in the labor market. A participative plan for qualification in which all stakeholders are involved would result in a better preparation for the graduate then a better opportunity for appropriate job. HE reform plan in Egypt necessitates teaching English and teaching in English , in addition to some optional languages.


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Human resources are the key for HE Enhancement
Egyptian plans for enhancing higher education emphasized human resource development. Our belief is that professors, assistants and support staff are the most important tools for higher education enhancement. A special project for Faculty and Leadership development was launched in 2003. It is now a national center for faculty and leadership development. More information about activities and accomplishments of the center can be seen at www.ncfld.org

Foreign languages are the gate to communicate with the world
Egyptian history reveals that the geographical location of Egypt as well as the relations between Egypt and its neighbors require good communication and understanding. Due to the fact that globalization and information and communication technology have made the world small village Foreign Languages are becoming very important in education programs. A graduate who is able to speak more languages has better work opportunities, and chances to complete his graduate school . Therefore, HE reform plans emphasize the importance of good language education to the university graduate.

Technical education and vocational training
Technical education and vocational training are of central focus of HE reform in Egypt. It is considered the right approach to apply technology to many aspects of economic and social activities. It is also the way to enhance creativity and innovation and increase efficiency in performance. In addition this type of education has more effect in reducing unemployment.

Internationalization
An important criterion for higher education reform in Egypt is to open up for international interaction and recognition. This criterion requires cooperation with other international HE institutions through exchange programs, joint degree or double degree programs which will help in mutual recognition. Higher education institutions in Europe may be the natural candidates for such cooperation because of closeness and cultural understanding.

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4. Why Europe?


History reveals that Europe has been a major partner in the development of Egypt. Economic, social and cultural ties and relationship between Egypt and Europe are ancient and strong. Although historical relations , economic ties, and geographical closeness are enough reasons for interaction and cooperation, the following additional reasons increase the importance and benefits of such cooperation:

• Because of the long history of relations and events between Egypt and Europe, many education systems in Egypt , not only in higher education but also in pre-university education, are similar to those (sometimes are the same programs) of Europe. There are British schools, French schools, German Schools and others.

• Many graduates of Egyptian universities go to different European countries for their post graduate studies. Admission to , and study in those European universities will be easier if HE systems in Egypt are compatible with those in Europe.

• Potential labor market in Europe is emerging for qualified Egyptians in specific fields . A compatible national qualification framework of Egypt to those of Europe will help Egypt to provide relevant education programs for its young people so that they can have acceptance in the European job market .

• By having compatible higher education system between Egypt and Europe , Egypt can be more qualified to benefit from opportunities and projects provided by the European Union to Mediterranean countries.

• Economic cooperation between Egypt and Europe, especially in fields like modernizing industry, joint ventures, joint research, will be more fruitful to both sides if the qualification of human resources cooperating in these joint projects are compatible.

5. Fields of potential cooperation in HE reform in Egypt

In its endeavor to achieve good results for its higher education reform implementation, Egypt can see common principles and objectives of HE reform in Europe, especially after the declaration of Bologna and the European commitment to implement it and create the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by 2010.

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L,M,D and ECT'S

a. Degree Structure :

The structure of the higher education system in Egypt is also a three cycle system:

Bachelor Degree
Masters degree
Ph.D or equivalent degree

Although time duration for each degree is a bit different (longer in the Egyptian system), the L,M,D structure suggested by Bologna process seems to match the Egyptian structure of the program.

However, a compatibility scheme needs to be developed such that the learning outcomes, and student workload is more emphasized in the equivalence of such education systems.

Therefore, It is obvious that a potential field of cooperation is to work out an equivalence scheme between the L, M, D structure and the Egyptian 3-cycle system such that an adapter-program is set for equivalence and recognition.

b. System of Credits:

The Egyptian higher education system is mostly based on the full year academic system in which the student has to go through fixed program for the duration of study (basically four years except for engineering and medicine. A readable transcript of student records is also one emphasis of the HE enhancement program in Egypt. A substantial transfer from the full year program to a credit-based program faces many difficulties. Academic bylaws should change to allow the new system.

Some Egyptian universities have adopted the credit hour system (CHS) in their newly introduced programs. These initiatives were encouraged by the new policy and support in the HE reform plan.

Currently, new ECTS-based programs are being introduced in some faculties (e.g . Faculty of Law in Cairo University).

One can define the following fields as potential areas of cooperation between Egypt and Europe based on Bologna framework:

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Curricula redesign is required to reflect the new competences and the intended learning outcomes. Joint projects in this area will increase understanding of the Egyptian professors about how their European colleagues define the learning outcomes in their field of specialization. This can be done for specific specializations so that the graduates of the Egyptian university possess compatible competences through similar learning outcomes of those of Europeans.

The assignment of credits to student achievements especially when it comes to self learning effort, projects, and other out of class learning activities. This area will also include the definition and evaluation of student workload in each course and how it varies according to the student’s type of effort.

Student advising system which can handle effectively such big number of students.

Student Information Systems that can provide the necessary reports, transcripts, and documents needed for transfer of credit and degree equivalence.

Design and documentation of ECTS (templates, transcripts, learning agreements, etc.) which constitute an important part of transparency of academic achievement for evaluation.

Translation framework for the systems applied in Egyptian universities (e.g. the academic year or the Credit hour system ) to the European ECTS system .

Quality Assurance and Accreditation

Egypt has come a long way toward achieving quality assurance in higher education. The efforts made included dissemination of quality culture in the academic environment, raising the awareness of all stakeholders for the need to apply quality standards to the education process, Training faculty on methods and techniques of quality teaching and research, and finally motivating faculty members to compete in higher education enhancement projects.

However, areas of potential cooperation with European universities and higher education authorities could include:

Exchanging experiences in sustainability of performance appraisal system, and continuous improvement and updating of curricula.

Training lab and workshop technicians so as to perform at quality standards

Students placement tests and national admission tests
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This dimension may also include Egypt’s participation in the Network of accreditation and recognition as mutual recognition and accreditation of higher education institutions of Egypt by their counterparts in Europe is beneficial to Egyptian graduates.

Incorporating the Egyptian National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Education (NAQAAE) in the European Network for Academic Recognition and Information Centers (NARIC)can help assure compatibility of standards at both the institution and the program level.

Potential areas of cooperation may include:

• Reviewing and evaluating the academic standards applied in Egypt in terms of its compatibility to the most common European standards

• Developing databases for quality assurance and accreditation in higher education

• Developing a framework for mutual recognition of academic degrees


Lifelong Learning

A very rich area for cooperation between European countries and Egypt is the lifelong learning programs and resources. Specific areas for such cooperation may be summarized in the following:

• Professional degrees

• The Ministry of higher education is promoting the concept of providing professional education program in Egyptian universities . These education programs help the graduates to be licensed to different professional practices (such as : medicine ,accounting, engineering, Law, and others). This may include programs for international professional exams (e.g. Chartered Accountant CA, British Medical Fellowship, and others)

• Vocational Education and Training

• A very important area of cooperation with Europe is in establishing programs for vocational education and training based on ECTS concept of recognition of academic and training experiences. Such program will help change the culture of recognizing only the formal academic study programs.

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•Change Career programs
During the period 1995-2004 a large program of education has been specially designed to change the career of some graduates from activities administrators in the Ministry of Education to Activity teachers. This program was a 4-year program held in more than one public university in Egypt resulting in a number of qualified extra curricula teachers (e.g. sports, social work, and others). There are many other graduates who need to change their career for better jobs. A potential area of cooperation in this issue is to establish a system of career change including design of such system, advising, training and managing such program.

• The e-Learning University
An Egyptian public university of e-learning is being established. The purpose of which is to increase access to people who may not be able, for place or time, to enroll in a regular education program. An area of cooperation would be help supporting such effort with experience, training, and systems.

Mobility

TEMPUS program has already provided opportunities for student and teachers mobility between European universities and institutes and their Egyptian counterparts (e.g. Individual mobility grant program ). However, more involvement of Egyptian professors requires direct cooperation through special agreement (e.g. bilateral agreements ) that allows exchange of students and teachers in specific fields.

An important addition to such program is exchanging professors to teach in joint programs and to perform joint research. Additional cooperation in this regard would be to provide opportunities for Egyptian students to interact with their European peers in academic, cultural, and social events. Also joint projects can be planned for student Innovation and team research.

Faculty and leadership development

Egypt has now an international center for faculty and leadership development. Potential areas of cooperation with European countries and similar higher education institutions may include:

Exchange academic trainers to train faculty members on several academic and research efforts

Visit, examine, and evaluate the performance of training faculty members, and recommend topics and methods for training

Exchange experience in training management and success stories of leadership

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Training faculty members and management of educational institutions on managing and assuring quality in education

Research & Innovation

In 1939, the Egyptian government issued the first decree to establish “Fouad I Private Research Council”. Recognizing that science and technology exert a growing influence on society and the economy, Nasser has given special attention to research and researchers and issued a new law for establishing Higher Council for Science in 1956. Since that date, the Egyptian system of research has been undergoing a continuous process of development. Few years later, in 1963, the first ministry of scientific research was established and followed by the creation of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) in 1971 to act as the national umbrella for science and technology in Egypt. The Ministry of Scientific Research has been in the top of the governance bodies of research in Egypt.

The new strategic plan for reforming higher education and scientific research in Egypt has Identified national priority areas for research to include Bio Technology, Nano Technology, Micro Electronics, Renewable Energy, and Management of Water Resources. Other issues in reorganizing the scientific research environment include Fund mobilization through different sources, such as civil society, donors, industry. The government has already made solid steps by introducing new funding Schemes the first of which is National initiative for innovation development. National initiative for raising the community awareness with science and technology is another source of fund.
All above areas of research interest of Egypt can be subject to cooperation with the European universities and institutes.

6. A Proposed Approach for Bologna-Based Cooperation

A suggested protocol for cooperation between Egypt and the EU – based on Bologna Process – as indicated above may consist of:

Mechanism

The mechanism to effect such cooperation protocol may include forming a joint team , setting a plan of activities, and providing a budget for such plan.

• Joint Team of Bologna Promoters

To carry out activities of cooperation it is suggested that a Bologna promoters team of experts be formed. This team includes members from Egypt who

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are currently / have been involved in any Bologna-related projects or who have studied some aspects of Bologna Process and shown interest in promoting any of its components. The team should also include one or more expert(s) from the European side who may help the Egyptian colleagues in comprehending the different aspects of Bologna process and advise them in solving application problems. The team can suggest the relevant schedule of activities that would help the higher education enhancement in Egypt.

• Plan of activities with time table

Cooperation in any of the abovementioned fields of higher education requires that a plan should be set and approved according to a timetable. This plan should include the activities of such cooperation (e.g. dissemination of information via seminars, meetings, workshops, etc., analysis and evaluation of Egyptian practices and systems and their compatibility with the general framework of Bologna, training concerned people on relevant issues, and facilitating the communication between European and Egyptian higher education institutions)

• Supporting Budget

This proposed program of activities will need to be financed by interested parties. A sufficient budget should be appropriated by both the European commission and the Egyptian side. A detailed budget plan may be prepared by the Bologna promoters team for such activities.

Defining specific projects (activities) with priorities to Egypt and the EU:

The following are suggested priorities for cooperation between Egypt and the Bologna commission.

1) Plan for dissemination

The first project should be a well designed, well documented plan of dissemination of Bologna Process components, the development, progress, difficulties, accomplishments, and lessons learnt.

This plan will cover all Egyptian universities and higher education institutions. It will include preparing brochures, flyers, and manuals. It will also include holding seminars and workshop in aspects of priorities from Bologna Process.
2) Mapping L,M,D and ECTS
A very important dimension of Bologna process that is of central importance to Egypt is the mapping scheme of the Egyptian degree certificates and how they relate to the their counterpart of European higher education institute following Bologna process. This dimension probably occupies the first priority because of the need of Egyptian students who wish to complete their graduate studies in European universities. This is also important for degree equivalence and probably recognition of institutions and degrees.

3) Joint programs

Joint programs between Egyptian higher education institutions and those of Europe may be another way of getting professors and may be students together speaking a common language, learning the same way, and interacting with each other in a well structured, good quality, agreed upon program of study. It will also promote cooperation between professors in additional activities (e.g. research and social projects). As for the students it will increase their understanding to the different culture and expose them to different ways of thinking.

4) Student mobility agreements

A new page has been opened between the West and Arab world after almost a decade of doubt and suspicion. We believe it is about time for Europe to open up for student exchange between Egypt and the European universities. A good subject of this exchange is summer training. Another good subject is social and environmental projects. Egypt sees important that young people of Egypt are provided the opportunity to “Live and Learn “ during the summer in some good European institutions as well as training in big manufacturing and service companies.

On the other hand European students can come to Egypt to see and enjoy the biggest heritage and antiquities in the world as well as the modern areas, beaches, and natural attractions. If European students can be sure that they can study in Egyptian universities for transfer of credit they will consider the issue. In the end it is a cultural interaction that will help increase understanding and cooperation between Egypt and Europe.


5) Centers of excellence

The Ministry of Higher Education in Egypt has launched a very ambitious program for establishing centers of excellence in different fields of education, research, societal services, institutional development, Health and population studies. The experiment has had encouraging success and it is promising in some fields. However, cooperating with Europe in this project will guarantee the achievement of objectives. Again, the idea can be shared by interested European universities and research centers.

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