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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.
USAID/Jon Erb

Overview

Fueled by increased demand, the Egyptian higher education system has expanded rapidly in recent decades. Despite being one of the world’s largest exporters of skilled labor, Egypt faces a shortage of appropriately skilled technical and professional workers at home, making it more difficult for the private sector to deploy technologically advanced processes, products, and services. The enrollment surge in both the university and technical college systems has resulted in overcrowding and underfunding, yielding a poor return on the national education investment. Disadvantaged students are the hardest hit by this scenario and typically lack the means or opportunity to study at the best public and private universities.

Through the establishment of three Centers of Excellence, USAID and its partner, the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, are increasing 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) has provided more than 1,200 scholarships to talented men and women from underserved communities, including those with disabilities, throughout Egypt to study at premier Egyptian and American universities in fields critical to Egypt’s sustained economic growth and development. The program’s emerging cadre of young professionals is committed to Egypt’s long-term development goals and the nation’s self-reliance. HEI is conducted nationally in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. In 2020, USAID Scholars was awarded as the next generation of undergraduate scholarship support, which will provide scholarships for 700 students over the next 10 years.

The U.S.-Egypt Science and Technology Joint Fund promotes collaboration between American and Egyptian scientists to address development challenges and promote economic growth and entrepreneurship, particularly in 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 for Egyptian students – a key link between institutions of 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, are increasing the capacity of 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 supports research that stimulates economic growth, promotes job creation, and informs government policy. The Centers create scholarship opportunities for students and develop curricula including new courses and degree programs for Egypt’s most pressing development challenges. 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

UNIVERSITY CENTERS FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT: In coordination with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, USAID is establishing 20 sustainable career development centers at 14 universities across Egypt. These centers will serve more than 70 percent of all public university students, offering career mentoring, employability skills, English language training, and internships. Implementing Partner: American University in Cairo; Life of Project: September 2017 – September 2021; Total Estimated Cost: $20.8 million; Governorates: Alexandria, Assiut, Aswan, Beni Suef, Cairo, Dakahlia, Gharbia, Giza, Menoufia, Minya, Qalyoubia, Sharqia, Sohag

USAID SCHOLARS: Egypt’s journey to self-reliance requires future leaders equipped to solve the nation’s most pressing development challenges. As part of USAID’s on-going commitment to empower young leaders, USAID Scholars will support 700 undergraduate scholarships for Egyptians from underserved communities. Approximately 50 percent of the scholars will be women and 10-15 percent will be students with disabilities. Students will attend one of five Egyptian public universities, the American University in Cairo, or the Zewail City of Science and Technology. Fields of study will include agriculture, commerce, economics, computer science, nursing, energy and water engineering among others. Beyond scholarship support, USAID Scholars features a "whole student approach" that includes outreach to parents and caregivers, access to a student well-being program throughout the course of study, leadership and skills development, and entrepreneurship training. Implementing Partner: The American University in Cairo; Life of Project: February 2020 – February 2030; Total Estimated Cost: $36 million; Governorates: Nationwide

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. The fund sponsors high-impact scientific research, extensive collaboration between American and Egyptian public and private sector institutions, and innovative training for the next generation of male and female scientists as well as young entrepreneurs. Implementing Partner: U.S. National Academy of Sciences; Life of Project: November 2014 – June 2024; Total Estimated Cost: $16 million; Governorates: Nationwide

U.S.-EGYPT HIGHER EDUCATION INITIATIVE (HEI): Conducted with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, HEI provides scholarships to talented men and women 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. It also provides scholarships for women to pursue Master’s degrees in Business Administration in the U.S. 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, more than 1,200 men and women, including students with disabilities, have received HEI scholarships. Implementing Partners: Institute of International Education, AMIDEAST, and Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research; Life of Projects: May 2010 – September 2024; Total Estimated Cost: $143 million; Governorates: Nationwide

Last updated: September 02, 2020

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