CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has ordered the establishment of 10 new private universities, to be affiliated with public ones.
El-Sisi reviewed the project during a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, in the presence of Maj. Gen. Staff Ihab Al-Far, chairman of the Engineering Authority for the Armed Forces.
The new private universities will be situated in Ismailia, Port Said, Helwan, Banha, Minya, Beni Suef, Alexandria, Mansoura, Assiut and Aswan.
The meeting saw construction designs discussed, as El-Sisi directed the provision of the necessary financial resources to establish the sites.
The Egyptian president emphasized the necessity of focusing academic studies on modern technological sciences and advanced scientific specializations.
It comes as millions of Egyptian university students prepare to start the new academic year on Oct. 17, as announced by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
Many high school students in Egypt face difficulties enrolling in universities due to the universities’ inability to take in increasing numbers of students wishing to join.
This year, three private universities opened their doors to applications for the academic year 2020/2021. King Salman University, New Alamein University and Al-Galala University reduced the minimum admission limit by 5 percent in comparison to the minimum admission limit for corresponding colleges in other universities. The investment cost of establishing the three universities was 40 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.5 billion).
It is expected that the ten universities, upon completion, will contribute to alleviating the burdens on current universities, as they will allow more students to enroll.
The Media Center of the Council of Ministers, meanwhile, issued a report highlighting the expansion of Egyptian higher education.
The report highlighted the state’s efforts to develop the sector and expand private universities and technology parks. The number of public universities increased by 17.4 percent from 2015 to reach 27 universities in 2020, whilst there was also an increase in colleges and institutes in public universities of 23.2 percent, to reach 494 colleges and institutes in 2020. New programs for specializations serving the labor market increased by 59.3 percent, to reach 188 programs in 2020. The report also showed that there are now 35 private universities in Egypt.
Five technology parks, including branches of the training institutes of the Ministry of Communications, were also opened at public universities, with six others currently in development.
The report monitored an increase in the number of students enrolled in public universities and institutes by 15.4 percent, reaching 3 million students in the 2019/2020 academic year, compared to 2.6 million students in 2014/2015.