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Higher Education

U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative MBA 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.
Jon Erb for USAID

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

Through the establishment of three Centers of Excellence, USAID and its partner, the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, will increase the capacity of Egypt’s higher education institutions to drive innovation, share best practices, and create linkages between research and the public and private sectors in the areas of agriculture, water, and energy.

Launched in 2015, the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative (HEI) provides scholarships to hundreds of talented women and men from underserved communities throughout Egypt to study at premier Egyptian and American universities in fields crucial to Egypt’s sustained economic growth and development. This has resulted in a cadre of young professionals committed to Egypt’s long-term development goals.

Through the U.S.-Egypt Science and Technology Joint Fund, USAID is building the capacity of Egyptian science and technology institutions, including universities and institutes of higher education, to address development challenges and promote economic growth through applied scientific research and technology commercialization.

USAID is also partnering with Egyptian public universities to establish centers for career development to provide career guidance, employment skills, and technical training to Egyptian students – a key linkage uniting higher education and economic growth initiatives.

Activities

 

Centers of Excellence: Self-reliance requires the sustained, collective efforts of the education community working in partnership with the private sector and policymakers. Through the establishment of three Centers of Excellence, USAID and its partner, the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, will increase the capacity of Egypt’s higher education institutions to drive innovation, share best practices, and create linkages between research and the public and private sectors in the areas of agriculture, water, and energy. Each center will support research that is vital to Egypt’s economic growth and job creation, create scholarship opportunities for students to pursue studies in related fields both in Egypt and the U.S., use high-caliber research to inform government policy to stimulate economic growth, and develop curricula that includes new courses and degree programs that address challenges identified by private sector partners. Implementing Partners: Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the American University in Cairo; Lead Egyptian Universities: Cairo University, Ain Shams University, Alexandria University; Life of Project: February 2019-February 2024; Total Estimated Cost: $90 million (approximately $30 million in each of three projects); Governorates: Nationwide impact with activity centered in Alexandria, Assiut, Aswan, Cairo, Dakahlia, Qalyubia, and Suez Canal. 

 

 

University Centers for Career Development: In coordination with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, this activity is establishing 20 sustainable career development centers at universities across Egypt. These new centers will serve over 70% of all public university students in Egypt, providing them with career mentoring, specialized employability skills training, networking, and career opportunities. Implementing Partner: American University in Cairo; Life of Project: September 2017 – September 2021; Total Estimated Cost: $20.8 million; Governorates: Alexandria, Aswan, Beni Suef, Cairo, Damietta, Dakahlia, Giza, Menoufia, Minya, Sharqia, Sohag.

 

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. Implementing Partner: U.S. National Academy of Sciences; Life of Project: November 2014 – November 2019; Total Estimated Cost: $12 million; Governorates: Nationwide.

 

U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative (HEI): Conducted at a national level in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, this initiative provides scholarships to hundreds of talented women and men from underserved communities throughout Egypt to study at premier Egyptian and American universities in fields critical to Egypt’s sustained economic growth and development. It includes scholarships for Egyptian professionals to pursue career-related, post-graduate degree programs or professional training courses in the United States or at the American University in Cairo; scholarships for women to pursue Master’s degrees in Business Administration in the U.S.; and Fulbright scholarships to pursue master’s degrees in the United States in fields of study critical to Egypt’s economic development. At the undergraduate level, HEI includes scholarships at public and private universities in Egypt and scholarships in the United States for women studying in science, technology, engineering, or math fields – these students also receive career counseling, English language training, access to internship opportunities, opportunities to participate in community service projects, and the option to participate in study abroad programs in the United States. Since its inception, 686 women and men have received HEI scholarships; included in the total are 35 scholarships awarded to Egyptians with disabilities. Implementing Partners: Institute of International Education, AMIDEAST, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Life of Projects: May 2010 – September 2024; Total Estimated Cost: $143 million; Governorates: Nationwide.

 

Last updated: August 26, 2019

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