Generation Alpha: focus of Egypt's journey towards developing education


Fri, 22 Mar 2019 - 09:21 GMT

Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar holds a panel discussion on Thursday, in the presence of the higher education minister, Director of London School of Economics and Political Science Minouche Shafik - Egypt Today.

Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar holds a panel discussion on Thursday, in the presence of the higher education minister, Director of London School of Economics and Political Science Minouche Shafik - Egypt Today.

CAIRO - 22 March 2019: Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar reviewed the Egyptian state's efforts to establish new universities, and plans to develop educational approaches to suit "Alphas", who were born with technology all around them.

Generation Alpha is the group of people born between 2010 and 2025.

This came during a panel discussion held on Thursday, in the presence of the higher education minister, Director of London School of Economics and Political Science Minouche Shafik, and British Ambassador to Egypt Geoffrey Adams.

Abdel Ghaffar reviewed the state's efforts to face current educational challenges, including establishing eight new technological universities, and developing infrastructure such as implementing the National Digitization Program. He said that the state seeks to implement new programs in its faculties of medicine, engineering, and integrated learning.

He also viewed some footage for the construction work of many new universities, including al-Galala, King Salman, Al-Alamein, and the Canadian universities.

Abdel Ghaffar affirmed that the Egyptian law prevents privatization of the Egyptian public universities, as the constitution obliges the state to bear the cost of higher education programs.

"We are committed to providing free education," the minister stated.

However, universities have to upgrade their resources in order to be able to support the sector, he said, adding that we cannot depend only on the state's allocated budget. Abdel Ghaffar said that the state is expanding the educational programs inside the universities. He explained that currently the universities in Egypt have about 210 educational programs.

The second axes, which is set to approved by the Parliament in the upcoming days, allows the public universities to open separate public branches with higher fees than the original public ones, but very much cheaper than the fees of the private and international universities.

Abdel Ghaffar said that the ministry cannot interfere in the academic freedom of a university, as to oblige a university to hold a certain curriculum, to give up another, or to tell a university how to spend the money allocated for it from the state budget.

He complained of the shortage in the number of doctors in the country. The total number of High School students who join the faculties of medicine was found to be about 9,000, while 7,000 of them graduate from the faculties.

"We found that each 10,000 people in Egypt have 10 doctors. The universal rate says 23 doctors [should be there] per 10,000 people," the ministry stated.

He said that, on the other hand, statistics found that as many as 17,000 pharmacists graduate from the relevant faculties, which means that the country has 24 pharmacists per 10,000 people, while the universal ranking require only eight pharmacists for the same number of people.

For her part, Shafik, who also serves as the governor of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, said that university students should be assessed by their overall performance, and skills they have learned during their study years, not for the final exam.

She added that students should not be evaluated based on their ability to memorize information. Instead, they must be trained on critical thinking.

Universal ranking

The government's mid-year report said in March, that Egypt has spent LE 19.9 billion ($1.15 billion) to support scientific research, adding that the North African country managed to raise the number of published international research to 20,000.

The number of patents issued for Egyptians and foreigners reached 108 patents, and 975 patent applications, according to the report.

The 111 year-old Cairo University has achieved 100 percent progress, according to the British QS World University Rankings, President of Cairo University Mohamed al-Khosht said earlier in March.

According to the ranking, Cairo University remains the top university in Egypt in 2019, ranked in 20 subject tables. Also, Cairo's Ain Shams University raised its representation from one department ranked in 2018 to as many as nine departments in 2019.

The university recorded 30.8 percent in academic reputation, and 55 percent in employer reputation. In the Arab region, Cairo University ranks 11th in the QS rankings.

In an interview with ON E, Khosht said that the university has ranked 101st worldwide in the fields of pharmacy, pharmacology, structural engineering and civil engineering.

He added that the university's magazine will become an international magazine, while efforts will be exerted in order for the university's Faculty of Mass Communication to become one of the best 500 colleges in the world in terms of different sections.

Cairo University, the mother university in Egypt, was established in 1908 in Egypt's Giza. The university has over 25 faculties and institutions in different scientific disciplines, with about 250,000 students enrolled.

Mahmoud el-Metiny, dean of Ain Sham's Faculty of Medicine, said that the faculty has jumped 50 places in the fields of biology and science.

QS Stars Rating system provides a detailed look at an institution in specific topics, including program strength and graduate employability. The QS World University Rankings is published annually, and is among the three most-widely read university rankings.



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