In 2014 the new constitution in Egypt reaffirmed the states responsibility to provide free education in public schools up to the secondary educational level, with the state spending no less than 4 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on education in order to meet international standards over time. In addition Article 21 specifies that no less than 2 percent of the gross national product (GNP) will be spent on tertiary education.
In post-Mubarak Egypt, while recent ongoing intense efforts to modernize education should be acknowledged, it should also be noted that there is a long way to go in terms of education transformation. In addition, the fact that almost 2.8 million students were enrolled in higher education in 2014 is an indication of further challenges, as gross enrollment is expected to increase even further due to the growing demand for higher education. Education governance, access to quality schooling, equitable access to quality schooling, class densities, preservice and in-service teacher education are among the areas that entail prioritized interventions. Diversified educational provision through various private school systems is generally viewed as a strength, while how these alternative systems contribute to mitigation of access and equity problems cannot be empirically justified yet.
Similar to public K–12 schools, universities in Egypt are run through a centralized governance structure. Despite recent educational reform efforts, the still-existing centralized strategy has caused numerous dysfunctions in the higher education system stifling institutional autonomy, creating rigidity in education and training programs, failing to be responsive to student demands, and inadequately addressing labor and economic needs. University budgets are often determined by the ministries of higher education, finance, and planning, and by university presidents. University deans and heads of Egypt’s public universities are usually appointed by the country’s president.
Dr. Mustafa Toprak is Assistant Professor of Educational Administration at the Graduate School of Education, the American University in Cairo. Toprak holds a PhD in Educational Administration from Gaziantep University, an MA in Educational Administration from Fırat University, and a BA in English Language Education from Boğaziçi University. His research interests include teachers’ roles in educational reform, educational policy, and educational leadership development. He is a member of British Educational Leadership and Educational Research Society and has published research in academic journals such as International Journal of Leadership in Education, Journal of Educational Policy, New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, and Australian Journal of Career Development.
Heba El-Deghaidy (American University in Cairo, Egypt)
Atta Gebril (American University in Cairo, Egypt)
Hala A. Hak (American University in Cairo, Egypt)
Ali Ibrahim (United Arab Emirates University, UAE)
Heba Kotb (American University in Cairo, Egypt)
Mohammed Rizkallah (American University in Cairo, Egypt)