Egypt’s Ministry of Education and Scientific Research and the UK’s University of Liverpool agreed to develop a strategic partnership through joint research and innovation activities, signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) according to an announcement by the UK embassy in Cairo on Monday.
In an official press release, the UK Embassy said the MOU was signed following a meeting between Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Gaffer and a high level delegation led by 11 UK university representatives visiting between 24-27 June.
Abdel-Ghaffar also visited the UK in January 2018, where a bilateral government MOU was signed.
The MOU sets expectations of the conditions under which UK universities would be able to establish international branch campuses (IBCs) in Egypt.
It also outlines collaboration over joint research and innovation activities, the exchange and training of academic staff and students, as well as initiatives to build educational capacity, together with other activities of common interest, relating to the development of institutional partnerships and the establishment of an International Branch of the University (IBC), according to the statement.
The visiting delegation is led by Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International.
Joining Stern are senior representatives from Coventry University; Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh; University of Portsmouth; University of East Anglia; Edinburgh Napier University; Cardiff Metropolitan University; University of Hertfordshire; Canterbury Christ Church University; University of Leicester; University of Liverpool; Manchester Metropolitan University; UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office; UK Department for Business; Energy and Industrial Strategy; UK Department for International Trade; and British Council Egypt.
“It is exciting to mark the growth of UK-Egyptian university engagement across a variety of areas, particularly in the last five years,” Stern said, listing developments in “the delivery of UK degrees in Egypt; Egyptian scholars being welcomed to the UK; and research collaboration.”
The delegation, which will be meeting representatives from a number of Egyptian universities, will discuss topics including how UK universities can respond to and support the Egyptian government’s aims under their national sustainable development strategy Egypt Vision 2030, and wide range of potential partnerships between Egypt and the UK including, but not limited to, IBCs.
Egypt is currently the fifth largest host country worldwide of UK transnational education – with over 19,800 students enrolled on UK programmes. The number of UK-Egypt co-authored research papers is also increasing, bolstered by bilateral initiatives such as the Newton-Mosharafa Fund, and the UK is currently Egypt’s fourth largest international research collaboration partner
British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson said the UK will be holding serious talks with Egyptian Ministers and university leaders to implement recent MOUs and give Egyptians access to the best education in the world.
“Already 20,000 Egyptians are studying for UK degrees, but we want to see many thousands more benefit from the power of British research and education,” Casson said.
“The UK and Egypt have a strong bilateral relationship supporting the development of mutually beneficial partnerships in education, research and innovation and we are delighted that our governments have put such an emphasis on higher education co-operation.,” University of Liverpool Vice Chancellor and President of Universities UK, Professor Dame Janet Beer said.
The embassy provided information about the University of Liverpool, describing it as a pioneer in establishing the study of Egyptian archaeology with the appointment of John Garstang in 1902.
Founded in 1881 as the original ‘red brick’, the University of Liverpool is one of the UK’s leading research-intensive higher education institutions with an annual income of 523 million pounds sterling, including 95 million for research.
Ranked in the top 200 universities worldwide, the university has 33,000 students, 8,000 of whom are international students, and a thriving community of 219,000 alumni in 171 countries.
The University of Liverpool remains the largest centre for Egyptology research in the UK and now focuses on the preservation of and access to important cultural heritage assets.