Universities in Egypt: government, private, or private?


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There is a tendency to increase the number of private and private universities, and here we review the conditions of public universities and the impact of private and private universities on them.

Public universities:

There are currently 27 public universities and these universities suffer from two main issues, the first thing: the corrupt and corrupt university law and the limited budgets allocated to them. The current law is fifty years old, as it was promulgated in 1971 and has become unable to put these universities in a position of competition with their peers in the region or to carry out the tasks of real university education based on scientific research, which can provide Egypt with soft or hard power if necessary. The current law allows for non-employment of faculty members and allows promotion to crawl and not through open advertising as in major universities in the world and because it leads to competition in the field of scientific research. The possibility of promotion at the same time !!. The result of all this is the sagging and declining education in public universities in general.

It is worth noting that it is not possible to judge the level of Egyptian public universities through global assessments issued from here or there. It is known that the most accurate of them is the evaluation of Shanghai University, as it is closest to objectivity and scientific accuracy and there is only one university out of the first 500 universities in Egypt, which is Cairo University For 3 of its graduates received the Nobel Prize. While Saudi Arabia has 3 educational institutions, South Africa has three and the neighboring country has seven. This evaluation has recently expanded to include the ranking of a thousand universities, including 4 in Egypt, in addition to Cairo University, the universities of Alexandria, Ain Shams and Mansoura were included, and it is not possible to turn a blind eye to what infiltrated those universities from the germ of class disparity by establishing and expanding what is known as private paid programs.

The second thing: It is the limited budgets of public universities, which leads to poor salaries for faculty members and weak allocations for scientific research, which results in the inability to perform the main roles targeted by university education, namely the transfer, dissemination and generation of knowledge through scientific research. The university is primarily a place for the revival of scientific spirit and scientific research, and not only for teaching, and in order for this is the desire of many faculty members to indulge in private work or assignments and secondments to work in the Gulf countries, and more recently to work in private or private universities. In order to remedy this defect in public universities, a committee of senior faculty members in universities studied this issue and submitted its proposals to the Advisory Board of Senior Scholars, where it was approved and submitted to decision-makers.

These proposals are summarized in the necessity of gradually reducing the number of students admitted to public universities in parallel with the expansion of technical education.

These proposals also included the need for faculty members to be devoted so that they can perform the duties they are entrusted with performing, namely education and scientific research, and that the involvement of faculty members or their promotion be through open advertising, provided that the main factor for selection is scientific production. The scholars ’proposals also included the necessity of returning a forgotten position, which is the position of a chair professor for the scientific department, provided that it is carefully selected by a neutral committee that includes among its members a member from abroad. The scholars have agreed that the retrospective application of these proposals is not appropriate, and they agreed that the most appropriate is that the implementation will take place after the issuance of a new law or the establishment of new universities or research centers, and of course the bid must be given to faculty members in the framework of these requirements. It was also emphasized that free public education is a grant from the taxpayer and it is not permissible to underestimate it or lack of seriousness during study and failure. Stumbling in the first years of study requires transferring the path to technical education or paying the expenses in full. Failure in the final years also requires payment of expenses with a good loan from banks, provided that its value is paid in installments without interest after graduation and joining the job.

Second: private universities:

They are investment institutions that those who have capital are forced to set up in order to obtain huge expected profits. Admission to these universities requires the payment of exorbitant expenses that the middle and upper middle class cannot afford, meaning that they are devoted to class polarization in the educational process. In search of more profits, these institutions do not spend on scientific research or scholarships for their graduates or preparing their faculty members. It mainly depends on faculty members in public universities, which is a drain on the human resources and causes further weakening of them. Dr. Hany Hilal, the former Minister of Higher Education, suggested the necessity for private universities to pay the education and scholarship expenses of those they attract from public universities .. Is it possible to revive this proposal again?

Continuing these policies will lead to social imbalance and scientific decline, and the only beneficiaries are the owners of these institutions, not the Egyptian state.

Third: private universities:

The naming of private universities on these universities is a mistake in the definition. The correct thing is that the private universities donate to establish the wealthy, provided that they do not have a role in administration or scientific orientation or reap any profits from them. As for what is happening in Egypt, it is the government that establishes these universities from state funds. The correct name, then, is government universities with fees. These universities will cause similar disadvantages to those caused by private universities, as they will also contribute to the depletion of faculty members and more class polarization. For example, studying a group of medical sciences in it requires paying approximately 100,000 pounds, and in engineering fields, 70,000 pounds annually. Who can pay those sums except for those with high incomes ?! Private universities and private universities do not care and do not establish colleges of basic sciences, even though they are the foundations for future sciences, scientific renaissance and the knowledge economy.

Certainly, if the funds needed to establish them were spent on public universities, the result would have been a definite surge in performance, in terms of quantity and quality, provided that the university law was changed.

Finally, it must be emphasized that the problems of education in Egypt are intertwined, old and accumulated .. No one person, regardless of his knowledge, can undertake the task of facing these problems alone, and history proves that, so every minister has his own project and whoever comes after him does not abide by it and present a new project That is the characteristic of technocratic ministers. Therefore, the Senior Scholars Advisory Board presented a draft for decision-makers on the necessity to establish an Education Commission to set policies for developing education in all its stages, oversee the quality of implementation, and work on the periodic development of curricula, evaluation methods and other elements of the educational process, provided that the competent minister is held accountable for implementing those policies within a specific time frame .

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