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Higher Education

HEI Graduate
The flagship U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative provides opportunities for Egyptians to study in fields important to Egypt’s economic future – like science, engineering, and business.
USAID/Jon Erb

Overview

Fueled by increased demand, the Egyptian higher education system has expanded rapidly in the past few decades. The university and technical college systems suffer from poor governance, underfunding, and lack of connection with the needs of the private sector. Universities are massively overcrowded, resulting in diminished teacher effectiveness and poor returns on education. Disadvantaged students also lack opportunities to study at the best public and private universities. Despite being one of the world’s largest exporters of skilled labor, Egypt is suffering from a shortage of appropriately skilled technical and professional workers, making it more difficult for the business sector to deploy technologically advanced processes, products, and services.

The U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative, launched in 2014, provides hundreds of undergraduate scholarships to premier Egyptian universities for talented, underprivileged students in fields critical to Egypt’s sustained economic growth. The initiative also supports scholarships for women to attend U.S. universities for undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as graduate degrees in business.

USAID is also partnering with the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to build capacity of Egyptian science and technology institutions, predominately institutes of higher education, to better contribute to human and economic development in Egypt.  The contribution of the U.S. scientific community and support connects Egyptian universities to international discussions of science and scholarship, resulting in joint research in one or more fields of relevance to national and economic development.   

Activities

U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative (HEI): This flagship initiative contains the following scholarship components in strategic fields that will contribute to Egypt’s economic prosperity: 

HEI STEM and MBA Scholarships for Women: Under the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative, this project provides scholarships to talented, high-achieving Egyptian women to pursue 98 MBAs and 62 undergraduate degrees in STEM fields in the U.S., with the aim of creating a cadre of highly-trained female leaders in these fields.  Implementing Partner: Institute of International Education; Life of Project: January 1, 2014-December 31, 2018; Total Estimated Cost: $30 million; Bilateral Agreement: The U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative.

HEI Local Scholarships for Public Universities: This activity provides 490 scholarships to Egyptian public school graduates to pursue programs in public universities. As part of this program, students will have dedicated career counselors provide advice and support to enable them to achieve excellence in their programs; English language training to increase their proficiency; and opportunities to broaden and apply their learning through internships, business/entrepreneurship experiences, and U.S. study programs. Implementing Partner: AMIDEAST; Life of Project: April 1, 2015-October 31, 2022; Total Estimated Cost: $27 million; Bilateral Agreement: The U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative.

HEI Local Scholarships for Private Universities: This project provides 195 scholarships to Egyptian public school graduates to pursue programs in Egyptian private universities. These scholarships will also provide academic skill building, counseling, and support to enable them to achieve excellence in their programs; English language training to increase their proficiency; and opportunities to broaden and apply their learning through internships, business/entrepreneurship experiences, and U.S. study programs. Implementing Partner: Institute of International Education; Life of Project: April 23, 2015-November 22, 2022; Total Estimated Cost: $20 million; Bilateral Agreement: The U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative.

Fulbright Scholarships: Under the auspices of HEI, Fulbright scholarships will be granted to 335 Egyptians for Master’s degree programs in the U.S. in fields of study critical to the economic development of Egypt. These scholarships will be targeted toward high achieving, economically disadvantaged students from across Egypt, and will help them acquire leadership and employment skills, English language training, and a first-hand understanding of American society. Scholars will return to Egypt to join the public and private sectors, equipped to take on leadership roles and engage in civic participation in their communities. Implementing Partner: State Department Bureau for Economic and Cultural Affairs; Life of Project: 2014-2018; Total Estimated Cost: $32million; Bilateral Agreement: The U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative.

Leadership Opportunities Transforming University Students (LOTUS): The LOTUS Scholarship Program offers comprehensive scholarship packages to students with outstanding academic and extra-curricular credentials and high financial need to obtain undergraduate degrees from premier Egyptian private universities in fields of studies important to Egypt's development such as nursing, engineering, computer science, and mass communication. Since 2010, 250 scholarships have been competitively awarded to male and female applicants from Egypt's 27 governorates with a focus on geographic and gender diversity, as well as diversity of experiences and desired fields of study.   [Note: Since 2014, LOTUS scholars have been a part of the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative.]  Implementing Partner: Institute of International Education; Life of Project: May 4, 2010-September 30, 2020; Total Estimated Cost: $23.7 million; Bilateral Agreement: Basic Education.

Graduate Scholarships for Professionals:  This government-to-government program provides up to 675 scholarship opportunities for Egyptian professionals to pursue post-graduate degree programs or professional training courses in the United States or at the American University in Cairo. Under the auspices of the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative, scholarship recipients will focus on attaining academic excellence and leadership skills and integrating them into standard business practices upon their return to the Egyptian workforce. The project will also support the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in introducing scholarship programs for women and people with disabilities, and target cross-cultural learning to promote socio-economic progress.  Implementing Partner: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR) Central Department of Missions; Life of Project: January 29, 2017-September 30, 2022; Total Estimated Cost: $30 million; Bilateral Agreement: U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative       

U.S.-Egypt Science and Technology Joint Fund: The U.S.-Egypt Science and Technology Joint Fund promotes collaboration between U.S. and Egyptian scientists to address development challenges and promote economic growth, particularly in applied research and technology commercialization. This program works in areas such as public health, food security, energy, and water security. Results of the Joint Fund will include high-impact scientific research, training for the next generation of youth and female scientists, and expanded collaboration between U.S. and Egyptian public and private sector institutions. Implementing Partner: U.S. National Academy of Sciences; Life of Project: November 17, 2014-November 1, 2019; Total Estimated Cost: $12 million; Bilateral Agreement: U.S.-Egypt Science and Technology Cooperation.

Last updated: April 19, 2018

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