Higher Education in Egypt
The Ministry of Higher Education oversees all higher education, including planning, policies and quality control. The Supreme Council of Universities focuses on overall education and scientific research. In the past decade, Egypt has participated in programs designed to update the curriculum and raise the overall quality of education in various academic disciplines, including health care, engineering, chemistry, information technologies, and tourism and leisure, just to name a few. Overall spending on all levels of education in Egypt has increased significantly in the past several years.
Why Study in Egypt?
Studying in Egypt offers students the opportunity to learn about all aspects of Middle Eastern culture, including historical, political and economic. Students will also study in a multi-cultural environment, as institutions in Egypt offer distinguished faculty members from a wide variety of backgrounds and countries all over the world. Although many students pursuing a master’s program in Egypt focus on Middle Eastern studies or the Arabic language, programs are available in other academic disciplines as well, allowing students to obtain a degree in their professional area while still enjoying the Middle Eastern immersion. International private institutions offer many programs taught in English.
There are 23 public universities, 18 public non-university institutions, 19 private universities and 81 private institutions of higher education in Egypt. Seven new public universities have been established since the recent revolution and change in government; most of these new universities were established by turning branches of existing universities into stand-alone schools. The newer schools are all located away from large cities to increase access for all Egyptian citizens. All higher education institutions provide technical and professional training, but not all public non-university institutions or private higher education institutions have programs for graduate degrees.
Tuition and Program Duration
Tuition varies widely depending upon the type of school and program of study. Graduate programs for international students at private universities can run as high as $US 1,000 per credit hour each semester. Egyptian students study at lower rates, but tuition per semester hour still costs around $US 600. Most master’s degree programs require between 30 and 40 credit hours, some of which may include a thesis. Graduate students normally take around 9 credit hours each semester, so programs typically require 1.5-2 years to complete.
The academic year is based on two semesters. Fall semester begins in early September and runs through the middle of December, followed by exams. Spring semester begins in late January and runs through the middle of May, followed by exams. Students at international schools may find that they take days off for both Muslim and Christian holy days.
At 12 percent, unemployment in Egypt is somewhat elevated, but graduates with master’s degrees may still be able to find work, especially if they are fluent in Arabic or English and want to work for a multi-national corporation. Work permits are required and can be obtained from the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration offices in the district where the potential employer is located.
All international students should have a comprehensive health insurance plan while studying in Egypt that covers accidents, illness, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. The cost of health insurance depends on the type of coverage, but basic plans begin at about $US 30 per month.