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UEL and Egypt join forces to strengthen Industry 4.0 skills in Egyptian higher education

The partnership was set in place with a Memorandum of Understanding signing  

The University of East London is supporting the launch of two new universities in Egypt as part of a wider initiative to expand the capacity and quality of higher education in the region.

The University of East London will not only assist in the establishment and governance of these institutions, and the recruitment of academic teams, but will also provide dual degrees in areas such as engineering, computer science, tourism, art and design, business and law - through a franchise arrangement. Fee-paying students would also have access to the University of East London’s resources, tutoring, career coaching and support services.

The Egyptian “new model” universities – Al Alamein International and New Mansoura – are two of four to be built, owned and run by the country’s education authorities,  set out in its Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS): Egypt Vision 2030 (SDS). This aims to expand Egypt’s higher education system and prepare graduates with technological and so-called “soft” skills for careers in an ever- changing jobs market.

The SDS is similar to the University of East London’s own Vision 2028 strategy, which also aims to put University students and graduates at the forefront of the 4.0 economy. For instance, the University has embedded Professional Fitness and Mental Wealth into every degree, striving to teach students to think critically and develop lifelong skills to ensure they are prepared for the world of work.

Professor Amanda Broderick, vice-chancellor and president of the University of East London, said, “This is an exciting partnership for both the University and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, with unique opportunities for collaboration.

“The purpose of a degree is to train a citizen to be a critical thinker and positive contributor to society throughout their lifetime. The only thing we are certain of at this juncture in history is that there will be change. It is absolutely critical for workers in the 4.0 economy to be adaptable to change. At the University, we have embedded this resilience, and many other skills, across our University through our Mental Wealth and Professional Fitness curriculum and other programmes.

“I am confident this new partnership will deliver huge benefits to University of East London students and to students in Egypt.”

The partnership was set in place with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing between the University of East London and the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education held virtually on 19 August. The MoU outlines the broad nature of the co-operation which will be codified in a formal agreement at a later date.

Professor Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, Egypt’s minister of higher education and scientific research, said, “Egypt has always been a hub for education and we are pleased to be working with a globally respected institution such as the University of East London. We have a large population under 35, and we must ensure they not only have the necessary academic learning but the technological and life skills needed to compete in the modern economy and take their places in the global 4.0 workforce. A positive attitude to change is crucial.

“I look forward to a lasting and successful partnership with the University of East London, and embarking upon mutually beneficial research and curriculum collaborations.”

In addition to Professor Broderick and Abdel-Ghaffar, the virtual ceremony was attended by Professor Hassan Abdalla, provost at the University of East London; Dr Ayman Ashour, deputy minister of higher education and scientific research in Egypt; Professor Mohamed El-Shinawi, advisor to the Egyptian minister of higher education and scientific research; and Dr Paul Marshall, pro vice-chancellor (careers & enterprise) at the University of East London.

Professor Abdalla said, “Egypt’s Sustainable Development Strategy is very much aligned with the University of East London’s Vision 2028, and we look forward working together to achieve mutual goals. This is a collaboration that is beneficial to everyone – your success is our success.”

The MOU will be in place for a period of five years and looks to explore ways in which the University of East London will offer Dual Degrees together with academic support and quality assurance.

The agreement would also increase the University of East London’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), boost the international alumni network and improve the prospect of high-impact collaborative research between the two countries.