British universities to set up campuses in Egypt

Barriers coming down to allow UK institutions to set up offshoots in Middle East

Students study in a new library at Cambridge University. England, UK. Getty Images
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Campuses for British universities could soon spring up in Egypt after the UK signed an agreement with the country’s education ministry that will remove barriers that prevented such institutions from expanding there.

The British universities minister Sam Gyimah and Egypt’s minister of higher education Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar met on Tuesday and signed the agreement at the annual Education World Forum, which took place at Lancaster House in London.

The higher education sector in Britain is already a very globally-minded industry, with more than 80 per cent of providers currently delivering UK degrees in overseas countries. The Egypt deal will allow them to expand further and give them a competitive advantage in the country.

Mr Gyimah said: “I am delighted to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Egyptian government, which will allow UK universities to deliver world class degree programmes in Egypt from today.

“The UK already has a strong track record of delivering higher education overseas and this agreement underscores that proud tradition,” he said. “I welcome the contribution that this partnership will make to both UK and Egyptian economies and the wider benefits it will provide to students and institutions in both counties.”

His Egyptian counterpart, Mr Abdel-Ghaffar, said: “This is a symbol of continued collaboration, co-operation and mutual understanding between our governments and our university communities.

“The opportunity for UK universities to establish International Branch Campuses in Egypt will support Egypt’s internationalisation ambitions and labour market demands,” he said.

“We are excited to see how IBCs will contribute to the fabric of Egypt’s higher education landscape and be catalysts for broader international partnerships between the UK and Egypt in research, innovation and mobility.

Vivienne Stern, the director of Universities UK International UUKi  that helped to seal the agreement, said: It is “an exciting opportunity for the UK to establish new forms of transnational education in Egypt. It all marks another significant step in the strong relationship between the UK and Egyptian higher education sectors.

“This is a unique example of the UK being invited to support the development of a new framework enabling new opportunities for transnational education.”