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Germany and Egypt – a future-proof Education Cooperation
Egypt already stands as a shining example for successful bilateral cooperation in the field of education, especially of higher education. However, with an eye on the future needs of a growing population the Government of Egypt plans to take the next step by even further expanding the number of private, international, and technical universities in Egypt. The creation of new transnational education projects is a great opportunity for Egypt and Germany. Both countries need highly educated professionals to boost their economies and their societies.
As the German Ambassador, I am very proud that the long history of cooperation between Germany and Egypt has been making a significant contribution to harnessing the talents of the best Egyptian students thanks to comprehensive higher education programs in Egypt. Over the years, we have been constantly expanding these programs from kindergarten and school to university and research.
Since the first German School in Egypt, the Deutsche Evangelische Oberschule (DEO), opened in Cairo in 1873 German schools have been the preferred choice for education. Later Germany expanded the number of certified German schools, making Egypt the country with the highest number of German schools outside of Europe.
Germany is also working to make quality schooling available to wider parts of the population: through the Quality Education Support (QESP) program, we helped build over 900 schools mainly in rural areas. They are guided by German quality standards regarding the buildings and the setup of class rooms.
German has become a popular language for pupils and students of all ages well beyond the reach of our certified German schools or the many schools where students may obtain a recognized German language certificate. German learners in Egypt have a wide range of high quality options of where to study our language, from schools to the German Departments of some of the best Egyptian Universities and of course the Goethe Institutes in Cairo and Alexandria, which have witnessed an exponentially increasing number of registrations in the last five years.
This year the Cairo regional office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) celebrated its 60th anniversary. The DAAD is the focal point for higher education and research cooperation between our two countries. In 2019 alone it supported over 1600 researchers and scientists from Egypt and almost 500 from Germany who were involved in cooperation with Egypt. Notable DAAD Alumni are present in key sectors of Egyptian society from Government to universities. The Cairo regional office also offers a wide range of scientific activities that bring together the best minds from Germany, Egypt and beyond to discuss the newest topics in science and research, from the German Science Day to the Falling Walls Lab.
2020 marks a new peak in our successful cooperation: On 15 October, Siemens, one of Germany’s most successful companies, inaugurated the new Egyptian German Technical Academy in Ain Sokhna, a public-private cooperation project between Germany’s Cooperation Ministry, the GIZ and Siemens. The academy will offer occupational training to technicians of all fields. It will allow them to further improve their qualifications. This is only one part of our broad and growing engagement in the sector of technical and occupational training for young people in Egypt. Germany works closely with the Egyptian Ministry of Education and other stakeholders, including the private sector, to raise quality standards of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and help train a workforce able to be at the forefront on the international level in all fields.
Also in October, the new German International University of Applied Sciences (GIU AS) started receiving its first class of students at its brand new, high-tech campus in the New Administrative Capital. With its offer of industry-focused and future-oriented Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in different specializations, like Engineering, Business Administration and Biotechnology, it represents yet another education opportunity for young Egyptians who wish to enjoy German quality education.
The GIU AS can build on almost two decades of fruitful work, done by its sister university the German University in Cairo (GUC). Since its inauguration in 2003, around 20.000 students have graduated from the GUC. They have become very successful in the private and public fields all over the world, and indeed even in space: The first Egyptian Astronaut, Akram Amin Abdellatif, graduated from the GUC in 2010.
German-Egyptian education partnership offers opportunities which are not limited to the big urban centers Cairo or Alexandria. At the El Gouna Campus of the Technical University in Berlin students from Egypt and from all over the world can earn a Master’s degree from one of Germany’s most prestigious Technical Universities, with high quality laboratories and teaching staff. Also located in El Gouna is The German Hotel School (GHS), another wonderful example of how cooperation between our two countries in the central field of tourism can benefit all. Graduates of the GHS are known to be highly qualified and are sought after in Egypt and all over the world, not only for their German skills but particularly for the great quality of their work and their wonderful sense of hospitality.
Given the amplitude of our joint activities I am not surprised that so many of the people I meet in my daily work have been inspired to do great things through our excellent German-Egyptian education cooperation: businessmen, politicians, opera singers as well as engineers and deciders. I am confident that the future will witness many more Egyptian-German success stories.
This is what our cooperation is all about.