Ambassador of UK to Egypt, John Casson - Egypt Today/Hussein Tallal
CAIRO – 27 February 2018: With United Kingdom universities occupying three of the top ten universities worldwide, the British Council, in association with the British ambassador to Egypt, held an event Monday to recognize successful Egyptian individuals who studied in the UK.
On the margin of the event, Egypt Today sat down with John Casson, British ambassador to Egypt, to discuss the importance of Egyptian-British cooperation in education, and the positive impact that British education could have on Egyptian citizens.
When asked about the importance of education to Egypt and the UK, Casson revealed, “We are talking with the minister of Higher Education, who was in London recently, and we are looking to develop ways for our scientific research to grow the economy. We [Egypt and the UK] have a long history of education and now we can build a new kind of power in the 21st century.”
For Casson, both countries have very passionate and smart citizens who would benefit greatly from international-level education. “Developing education in Egypt will also be beneficial for the UK,” said Casson. It is good, according to the ambassador, to have Egyptians who know the UK and relate to it.
Casson proudly told Egypt Today staff that since he has become the ambassador to Egypt, thousands have had the opportunity to seek British education, pointing to the great outcome that is produced when Egyptian brains benefit from Britain’s international-level education. He referred to individuals awarded and honoured during the event, explaining that they have really shown that Egyptians can go a long way with British education.
“We have Egyptians with great education in London; for example the dean of the London School of Economics [and Political Science] is Egyptian, and we also have one of the greatest surgeons in the world. If you put education together, it benefits all countries. It is not about one country depending on another.”
Casson continued, “The agreement we have just signed with the minister of Higher Education is aimed at bringing the level of international education in Britain to Egypt. … Education gives us a positive option.”
“In the future,” Casson assured us, “the education partnership will work in both directions.” Both the UK and Egypt are expected to benefit from this great partnership.
Casson also spoke about the importance of the signed agreement. According to the ambassador, the signing, that is set to bring branches of international universities to Egypt, is “significant” and is expected to have great effect on the education level in Egypt.
When asked when we should expect Britain’s international-level education to be here in Egypt, Casson said, “It is already here. … There are British programs going on now.” He pointed out that thousands have completed the programs and that more are expected to complete those programs in the upcoming period.
Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar signed a joint agreement with his British counterpart Sam Gyimah regarding the establishment of new international branches for British universities in Egypt.
Both ministers met on January 24, in London, on the margin of the International Education Forum. They discussed developing the two states’ cooperation in the educational field.
According to an official statement, Gyimah affirmed to his Egyptian counterpart that his country is keen on establishing several joint projects with Egypt in the coming period.
The meeting took place in the presence of several Egyptian and British officials.
The International Education Forum, held in London from January 21 to 26, was attended by a high-level Egyptian delegation including Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Education Tarek Shawki, Chairman of the Education Committee of the Egyptian Parliament Jamal Shiha, Chairman of the Finance and Planning Committee of the Parliament Hussein Issa, Head of Quality Education Authority Johansen Eid, Vice President of the Education Committee of the Parliament Hani Abaza, and Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education for Scientific Research, Strategic Planning and International Relations Mohammed Salehin
The British University, based in Cairo, was founded in September 2005, through an intergovernmental agreement.