Egypt PM says won’t rule out Brotherhood role in new govt

Updated 17 July 2013
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Egypt PM says won’t rule out Brotherhood role in new govt

CAIRO: Egypt’s prime minister said yesterday he does not rule out posts for the Muslim Brotherhood in his Cabinet if candidates are qualified, even as police cracked down on ousted President Muhammad Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
Hazem Al-Beblawi, who was appointed on Tuesday, told AFP in a telephone interview he was still considering the makeup of his interim government after Mursi’s overthrow in a popular military coup last week.
“I don’t look at political association ... If someone is named from (the Brotherhood’s) Freedom and Justice Party, if he is qualified for the post” he may be considered, Beblawi said.
“I’m taking two criteria for the next government. Efficiency and credibility,” he added.
“So far I haven’t approached anyone,” Beblawi said, explaining he wanted to decide on the best candidates before asking them to join the government.
Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood has already rejected an offer from Beblawi to join the new government, and called for a mass rally on Friday against what it called “a bloody military coup.”
An anti-Mursi camp meanwhile is reported to be planning a Cairo rally to mark the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan following Friday prayers tomorrow.
The rally planned in Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square, epicenter of the 2011 uprising that toppled veteran leader Hosni Mubarak, raises the possibility of further violence following a week of bloodshed after Mursi’s July 3 ouster. In the bloodiest incident, clashes around an army building on Monday left 53 people dead, mostly Mursi partisans.
Police were searching for the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Mohamed Badie, after a warrant was issued for his arrest on Wednesday, in connection with the violence.
Badie and other senior Brotherhood leaders are wanted on suspicion of inciting the clashes, judicial sources said.
After a year in power through Mursi, the Brotherhood is now in tatters, with much of its leadership detained, on the run or keeping a low profile following Mursi’s overthrow.
Mursi himself is currently being held in a “safe place, for his safety,” foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told reporters Wednesday, adding: “He is not charged with anything up till now,” he said.
Military and judicial sources have said the ousted leader may face charges eventually.
His overthrow by the military last week, after nationwide protests demanding his resignation, has plunged Egypt into a vortex of violence.
Thousands of Mursi supporters Wednesday evening joined those camped out at the Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City, to break the daily Ramadan fast.
They vowed to leave only when Mursi, the country’s first freely elected president, is reinstated.
“We are gathering here for Mursi. I voted for him and I want to know where he is,” said protester Mohammed, 47. “We will stay here either until the president’s return or martyrdom,” he said.

 


Egyptians hope foreign university campuses will boost higher education

Updated 3 min 25 sec ago
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Egyptians hope foreign university campuses will boost higher education

  • The law to allow foreign campuses was approved by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi this month
  • Experts say the move will help improve Egyptian universities

CAIRO: A new law approved by the Egyptian president that allows foreign universities to establish campuses in Egypt, aims to boost the development of higher education and scientific research in the country.

The architects of the new law also hope it will build links with other countries to provide more and better educational opportunities, and preserving the national identity of Egyptian students.

Applications from foreign universities will be examined by a committee formed and headed by the minister of higher education, which will include representatives from other ministries and relevant authorities. 

The minister will have the right to close the campus of a foreign university if it violates Egyptian laws or decisions by the authorities, and to prevent the university from accepting new students.

The law was approved by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi this month after passing through parliament in July.

Experts and university professors have differing opinions on the likely effects of foreign universities setting up in Egypt. While many suggest that Egyptian universities will develop and improve to compete, some fear the opposite will happen.

Youssef Rashid, acting secretary of the Supreme Council of Universities, said he believes the new law is good and will increase competition among universities, as a result improving the quality of education everywhere.

Abdullah Sorour, founder of the Union of Egyptian scientists, said: “A partnership between foreign universities and Egyptian universities is the best way forward.” He added that existing foreign education institutes in Egypt do not have a clear identity.

The proposal was first raised more than a year ago but gained traction in June 2018 after Dr. Khalid Abdul Ghaffar, the current minister of higher education, signed a cooperation agreement with the University of Liverpool in England. He described the agreement as “a sign of confidence in the Egyptian education system” and “evidence of the stability of the country.” He added that the British university will “soon” establish a campus in Egypt, and that there are further plans for cooperation with universities in the United States and Canada.

The new law stipulates that foreign universities in Egypt will be free to set their own tuition fees, but that Egyptian students must be allowed to pay in Egyptian pounds. The fees cannot be increased after enrollment. Some people expressed a hope that the increased competition would drive down the cost of tuition fees.

“We want these universities to be cheaper that their Egyptian counterparts,” said Ahmad Al-Lundi, who works at a bank. He said he pays 50,000 Egyptian pounds a year in tuition fees for his son, who is studying in the Faculty of Pharmacy at Al-Ahram Canadian University, and EGP 41,500 for his daughter, who attends Future University.

The cost of tuition at private universities in Egypt varies wildly. The annual fees at the Egyptian Russian University — which has only three faculties: oral medicine, engineering and pharmacy — range from EGP 33,000 to EGP 58,000, while the British University charges about EGP 80,000 for its dentistry faculty, EGP 60,000 for business administration, economics and political science, and EGP 75,000 EGP for engineering and pharmacy. The October University of Modern Sciences and Literature (MSA), which has nine faculties, charges a tuition fee of EGP 87,500 a year for dentistry and EGP 63,500 for pharmacy, in addition to the cost of a British certificate, which is 325 euros.