University of East London signs Egypt partnership deal

Deal with the Egyptian Higher Education Ministry will cover two new universities in the North African country

The University of East London (UEL) is to support two new model universities in Egypt.

UEL chiefs signed a five-year memorandum of understanding with the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education this August. The memorandum will be superseded by a more detailed formal agreement later this year, but the deal will see UEL support two Egyptian universities with dual degrees, academic support and quality assurance.

The Egyptian “new model” universities – Al Alamein International and New Mansoura – are two of four to be built, owned and run by the country’s education authorities,  set out in its Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS): Egypt Vision 2030 (SDS). This aims to expand Egypt’s higher education system and prepare graduates with technological and soft skills.

Senior leaders at UEL hope the partnership will develop the university’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa and also improve the prospect of collaborative research between the countries.

In return, UEL will help recruit academic teams for the Egyptian “new model” universities and offer dual degrees in engineering, computer science, tourism, art and design, business and law through a franchise arrangement. Fee-paying students would also have access to the UEL’s resources, tutoring, career coaching and support services.

The new North African providers are part of the UEL’s Vision 2028 strategy, which aims to place the university “at the forefront of the 4.0 economy”. 

In addition to Professor Broderick and Abdel-Ghaffar, the virtual ceremony was attended by Professor Hassan Abdalla, provost at the University of East London; Dr Ayman Ashour, deputy minister of higher education and scientific research in Egypt; Professor Mohamed El-Shinawi, advisor to the Egyptian minister of higher education and scientific research; and Dr Paul Marshall, pro vice-chancellor (careers & enterprise) at the University of East London.

Prof Amanda Broderick, vice-chancellor and president of the University of East London, said: “This is an exciting partnership for both the university and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, with unique opportunities for collaboration.

“The purpose of a degree is to train a citizen to be a critical thinker and positive contributor to society throughout their lifetime. The only thing we are certain of at this juncture in history is that there will be change. It is absolutely critical for workers in the 4.0 economy to be adaptable to change. At the university, we have embedded this resilience, and many other skills, across our university through our Mental Wealth and Professional Fitness curriculum and other programmes. 

“I am confident this new partnership will deliver huge benefits to University of East London students and to students in Egypt.”

Prof Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, Egypt’s minister of higher education and scientific research, said: “Egypt has always been a hub for education and we are pleased to be working with a globally respected institution such as the University of East London. We have a large population under 35, and we must ensure they not only have the necessary academic learning but the technological and life skills needed to compete in the modern economy and take their places in the global 4.0 workforce. A positive attitude to change is crucial. 

“I look forward to a lasting and successful partnership with the University of East London, and embarking upon mutually beneficial research and curriculum collaborations.”

Read more: Scientists warn universities against in-person teaching

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