Reviews of National Policies for Education

1990-0198 (online)
1563-4914 (print)
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A series of reports on peer reviews conducted by the OECD on aspects of a particular subject countries’ educational system. They generally analyze the situation and make recommendations for policy improvements.

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Reviews of National Policies for Education: Higher Education in Egypt 2010

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OECD, The World Bank
Publication Date :
08 Apr 2010
Pages :
9789264084346 (PDF) ; 9789264077232 (print)

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In recent years, the Government of Egypt has driven major reforms for modernising the country. However, Egypt’s higher education system has remained largely unchanged and without fundamental reform of the sector the country will face difficulties in improving its competitiveness.

This independent review of Egypt’s higher education system focuses on areas in need of attention by policy makers and stakeholders, including system steering and institutional governance; student access to higher education; educational quality and effectiveness; research, development and innovation; and finance. It contains an analysis of the system and valuable recommendations which, taken together, represent a major programme of structural and cultural reform of Egyptian higher education over the decade to 2020.

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    Executive Summary
    This report responds to an invitation by the Government of Egypt to the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) jointly to conduct an independent review of the nation’s higher education system and to offer advice on its future development.
    This chapter gives an overview of the terms of reference of the review and definitions of Egyptian tertiary education programmes.
    Egypt and its Educational System: An Overview
    This chapter provides a summary of supplementary background information about Egypt’s population, economy and education system.
    Development Strategy
    This chapter considers Egypt’s economic and social circumstances, its five-year economic development plan, its demographic challenges, the imperatives and expectations that arise for higher education and research, and the strategic choices it has in seeking to align higher education with its needs.
    System Steering and Institutional Governance
    This chapter locates Egypt’s models for directing the higher education system and its models for the internal organisation of different higher education institutions in the context of international developments in public sector reform. It considers the need for new balances between government direction, institutional discretion, and market-based mechanisms in Egypt’s evolving policy framework for higher education. Directions are suggested for reform of the frameworks for system steering and institutional governance.
    Student Access to Higher Education
    This chapter focuses on the mainstream channels for young people’s participation in tertiary education and training – the transition from secondary school to higher education. It outlines different models of structuring the transition, describes Egypt’s current transition processes, identifies their strengths and weaknesses, canvasses the main issues for policy, and suggests a direction for reform.
    Educational Quality and Effectiveness
    This chapter considers the effectiveness of higher education in Egypt in equipping graduates with understandings and skills for life, work and further learning. The chapter assesses the available information about the quality of higher education inputs, processes and outputs. Particular attention is given to the fitness of Egyptian higher education for the purpose of meeting local, national and international labour market needs. Initiatives to improve educational quality and standards in Egyptian higher education are examined in the light of developments in international practice, and recommendations are made for increasing capacity and performance.
    Research, Development and Innovation
    This chapter develops a framework for the comparative analysis of the Research, development and innovation system in Egypt and relevant comparator countries. The framework is applied to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the RDI system in Egypt along with the major challenges the country faces.
    This chapter examines the availability of financial resources for higher education and the challenges faced by Egypt as it seeks to expand enrolment and improve quality in a financially sustainable way. Financing is discussed from the viewpoint of resource mobilisation, allocation, utilisation, and equity impact. The chapter closes with a series of findings and recommendations, including recommendations on the need to mobilise additional resources for higher education and implement performance-based allocation mechanisms to stimulate effective and innovative management practices.
    Reform Implementation
    This chapter considers the feasibility and possible phasing-in of particular reform initiatives as a means of testing their workability and building support for a more integrated, longer-term reform agenda.
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