Egypt's President Sisi speaks at the "Tale of a Nation" session held on the Egyptian universities' excellence day. Presidency
The government will bear the other half of the cost, El-Sisi said during his visit to Suez Canal University in northeastern Egypt to celebrate Egyptian University Excellence Day. Meanwhile, the fund will contribute “significantly” to establishing 100 schools over the coming year, the president added.
The Tahya Misr Fund will also contribute $50 million for an initiative to support innovative and creative university students, El-Sisi said, with the government allocating another $50 million to back the initiative.
Universities all over Egypt
The 17 new universities will join Egypt's existing 10 technical universities.
The state plans to have one such university in each of the country’s 27 governorates, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ayman Ashour said during today’s event.
Over the past decade, the state has doubled the number of its public, private and national universities to a total of 96 in 2023, up from 50 in 2014, Ashour continued.
The cost of establishing these new universities, excluding operating costs, amounted to EGP 180 billion, he noted.
Egypt currently has 28 public universities, 30 private universities, 20 national universities, 10 technical universities and seven branches of foreign universities located in the New Administrative Capital, according to Ashour.
The universities currently educate more than 3.3 million students with an enrollment rate of 37 percent, up from 29.6 percent in 2014, the minister said.
By 2032, Egyptian universities plan to educate 5.6 million students with an enrollment rate of 43 percent.
Improving basic education
El-Sisi has ordered the government to establish 100 schools comprising around 3,000 classes over the coming year at a total cost of EGP 15 billion, supported by a “significant” donation from the Tahya Misr fund.
The president noted that the EGP 160 billion allocated for basic education in the state budget for the fiscal year 2023/2024 is insufficient for national development.
‘Reformulation, not militarization’
El-Sisi also shed light on the presidential initiative to select 1,000 school heads for enrolment in a six-month program in the Military Academy to “reformulate, rather than militarize their personalities.”
“They are enrolled in a general rather than a technical program [in the academy], waking up at 5am and playing sports for six months,” El-Sisi said, highlighting the formative influence of school heads on students.
“If I could do that in all state institutions, I would do it,” El-Sisi said, adding that the state’s administrative apparatus “needs to be more committed and disciplined.”
University Excellence Day
Egyptian University Excellence Day is being held for the first time to celebrate the graduation of the highest-scoring students in all of Egypt.
Alongside the celebration, El-Sisi met with the Supreme Universities Council, discussing the quality and competitiveness of Egyptian higher education.
El-Sisi highlighted the state’s efforts over the past decade to establish national universities and partnerships with international universities.
The president noted that the job market can only accommodate some of the many students studying law, commerce and literature each year, for which opportunities can be "non-existent or limited."
Meanwhile, “the job market inside and outside Egypt needs hundreds of thousands of people in the field of digitization,” El-Sisi said, suggesting more students pursue technical education.
El-Sisi was briefed on the performance of the Egyptian universities and the progress they have achieved in international indexes in recent years.