NON-STATE ACTORS IN EDUCATION
2.2 Non-state education provision
3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education
- Early childhood care and education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Primary and secondary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
- Tertiary education (Entry/Establishment ○ Financial operation ○ Quality of teaching and learning ○ Equitable access ○ Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability)
3.2 Supplementary private tutoring
The 1981 Law No. 139 (Art. 54) states that a “private school” is any non-governmental establishment that wholly or in a subsidiary, capacity provides students with educational, vocational, or technical preparation prior to the tertiary level. Non-state nurseries or schools established by foreign entities that do not teach the Egyptian curriculum are described as “international” entities, and a “private school” is a non-state school that teaches the Egyptian curriculum. The following are also considered not to be “private schools”: (1) nurseries overseen by the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MoSS) (2) international schools established by foreign establishments in which non-Egyptians are taught (i.e. the children of foreign diplomats and otherwise), and (3) cultural centres established by foreign countries or international entities.
At the early childcare and education level, providers can be natural or legal persons (Law 126, 2008, Art. 34). No definition of non-state actors was found at the tertiary education level.
2.1 State education provision
In Egypt, education is divided into two stages: the basic education stage, which includes primary education (ages 6 to 11 years) and the preparatory stage (ages 12 to 14), and the secondary stage, which covers the last three years of education (ages 15 to 17) (Egyptian MoE 2014, 14). The 2014 Egyptian Constitution (Art. 19) stipulates that the State is to provide free education for students in different stages, specifically for those between the ages of 6 and 15. In 2016/17, 90% of the total K-12 student population attended public schools.
Non-state managed, state schools
Among these types of public schools are thousands of basic and secondary schools that are affiliated with Al-Azhar University, with roughly two million enrolled students. While such institutions used to be run by non-state actors, they are now under the control of the Egyptian state. Most of the schools teach a secular curriculum that is merged with religious learning. They are supervised by the Al-Azhar Supreme Council and regulated by the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Another type of state school that exists in partnership with non-state actors was established in 2014 by the Egyptian Ministry of Education (MoE). These low-cost, “international state schools” (madāris dūwalīyah ḥukūmīyah) are few, reaching a total of 13 schools as of 2020, but aim to make international education more affordable. The tuition fees for these state schools are typically capped at approximately 956 USD (15,000 EGP), unlike non-state schools in which tuition fees can reach between approximately 3,820 and 9,540 USD (60,000 and 150,000 EGP). They are still considered to be state (ḥukūmī) schools due to the government-mandated price cap, whereby private (khāṣ) schools have greater leeway in charging higher prices for tuition fees.
Further, two types of these international state schools exist: those teaching the British International Baccalaureate curriculum and those teaching the British International General Certificate of Secondary Education curriculum. The schools are jointly governed by the MoE and the International School Owners Foundation which is also involved in managing the schools and selecting administrators and teachers, supervising education, choosing books and curricula, and obtaining the licences needed. Although the foundation helps oversee these schools, it does not receive any financial compensation from the schools or the MoE. In 2018, a Cooperation Protocol was signed between the head of the publication sector and the International Schools Foundation to further implement this and improve the quality of the education provided at such schools.
Non-state funded, state schools
See previous information on international state schools.
2.2 Non-state education provision
Independent, non-state schools
Non-state schools are allowed to contribute to the provision of basic or secondary education in accordance with the plans and the curricula that are taught in state schools. They are also distinguished by teaching foreign languages in addition to the official curriculum. Private curricula can also be taught in accordance with the decision of the Minister of Education and the Supreme Council of Universities. As of 2020, there were 9,169 non-state schools in Egypt, which span international schools, which teach foreign curricula; “private language” schools, which teach the official curriculum in English; and religious schools. The government does not specify the number of existing private language, international and religious schools.
State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools
In accordance with the Egypt-Japan Education Partnership established in 2016, a pilot project to establish 200 Egypt-Japan Schools (EJS) has been outlined and is being funded via grants signed between the Egyptian MoE and the Japanese Ambassador. The schools are distinguished by their adoption of the Japanese concept of Tokkatsu or “whole child development” that is embodied through particular activities to promote personal growth and teamwork undertaken by students as well as by teaching a new Egyptian curriculum.
Contracted, non-state schools
No information was found.
2.3 Other types of schools
Since 1992, the Egyptian MoE and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) have been collaborating on a community school initiative in Upper Egypt. The MoE has also agreed to support curriculum and teacher training, offer the necessary learning materials, and pay teachers’ salaries (p. 1). As such, community schools are predominantly under the control of the state. However, “NGOs (non-governmental organizations) give support to identify the locations and out-of-school children, [and] they also support the communities to ensure school governance. The local communities are responsible for the provision of the donated sites’ future maintenance and for the overall school governance.” The initiative aimed to improve the quality of education provided to students in underserved areas, especially girls between the ages of 6 and 14 (p.14-15). In such girl-friendly schools, older girls are prioritized and the enrollment of males is capped at 25% (MoE 2014, 15). Children who have dropped out of school may also attend one-year-long programs at community schools to receive an elementary school graduation certificate.
In accordance with 1981 Law No. 139, parents or guardians must send their children to schools to pursue basic education (Art. 15), and this is to be enforced on a provincial level. As such, homeschooling is not recognized as an option under Egyptian law. However, evidence from non-government official sources indicates that some parents may try to opt for enrolling their children in public schools or flexible schools, but continuing to homeschool them.
Market contracted (Voucher schools)
No information was found.
No information was found.
A number of governmental bodies oversee education, including the Ministry of Education (MoE), which monitors education provided in preschools, elementary schools, and high schools. The MoE receives guidance from the High Council of Pre-University Education and is tasked with developing teaching material, textbooks, curricula, national exams, and other such matters. In accordance with the 1981 Law No. 139 (Art. 56), non-state schools are subject to monitoring and to the laws and insurance requirements from the MoE and the Educational directorates in Egypt’s governorates. The Ministry of Religious Affairs further monitors religious education, with the exception of Al-Azhar University and its affiliated schools and colleges, which are monitored by the Al-Azhar Supreme Council.
Nurseries and kindergartens are supervised by multiple ministries, including the MOE and the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MoSS) while the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR) is responsible for overseeing state and non-state higher education institutions. It also oversees the operation of the Supreme Council of Private and Non-Profit Universities, which is led by the Minister of Higher Education, and constitutes a body that is tasked with maintaining quality control of non-state institutions, approving new higher education bodies and programs, and arranging policies between different institutions.
At the local level in Egypt, there are about 27 governorates, which further consist of hundreds of municipalities and smaller sub-municipal districts. The system of governance in Egypt is centralized and “there have been attempts toward greater decentralization in policy areas like education.” Within the country, educational policies are established at the national level and must be adopted by the education directorates that exist in the governorates. For example, the Alexandria Education Directorate has different departments that oversee different types of education, including non-state and state schools.
Vision: The 2014 Egyptian Constitution notes that the government oversees education to ensure that all state or non-state schools and institutes adhere to its educational policies. In parallel, the Egyptian MoE has established the 2014-30 Strategic Plan for Pre-University Education that is to be adopted as a national project. This plan consists of three phases that are set to begin in 2014 and involves further cooperation with the private sector and civil society to maximize human and material resources. At the primary education level, one of the government’s executive objectives outlined for the end of 2016-17 is the establishment of awareness programs to increase the contributions of the private sector in deprived areas.
3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education
In Egypt, kindergartens constitute pre-primary classes for children between the ages of four and six, whereas nurseries are designed to accommodate those between two and four years old. All nurseries are supervised and regulated by the MoSS (Law 126, 2008, Art. 31). The state further guarantees all children’s right to access nurseries and Article 80 further states that children under the age of 6 are “entitled to early education in a childhood centre.” As of the 2020/21 academic year, there were a total of 4,563 pre-elementary education institutions including 3,006 state institutions (65.9%) with 390,294 students enrolled (72.7%), and 1,557 non-state institutions (34.1%) with 146,420 students enrolled (27.3%). Non-state institutions include programs run by religious Al-Azhari schools, non-formal childcare, daycare centres at workplaces, and NGOs. Nearly two-thirds of such services are offered by NGOs, with the remainder offered by other non-state sector bodies.
Registration and approval: According to the 2008 Law 126 (Art. 34), licensing applicants can be natural or legal persons. If an applicant is a natural person, he or she must (1) be an Egyptian with full legal capacity, (2) not have committed a dishonourable misdemeanour, security-related crime, or (certain) other crimes, (3) have a good reputation, and (4) not be engaged in work that is contrary to social or educational work. The person who wishes to establish a nursery must submit a request to the designated directorate of the MoSS in accordance with the procedure listed. To receive a licence, a nursery must have at least four rooms and should be established on the ground floor. In addition, the principal/director of the nursery must have high (educational) qualifications, and the owner of the nursery must be Egyptian.
Upon receiving a licensing request, the concerned Directorate for Social Affairs “decide(s) upon the request, in light of the needs and requirements of the area, region, or district where the nursery is intended to be set up, within 30 days from the date of submitting the request, along with notifying the applicant of its decision by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt. The decision rejecting the request shall state the reasons for refusal” (Law 126, 2008, Art. 35). Rejected requests can be appealed in accordance with Article 40.
Licence: The concerned Directorate for Social Affairs is responsible for issuing a licence for a nursery. Upon approving a licensing request, the applicant must submit all required documents (not explicitly listed) and inform the Directorate of this. Within 15 days of receiving the request, the Directorate must ensure compliance with the specifications or otherwise inform the applicant to redress any shortcomings and let the body know of this (Law 126, 2008, Art. 35). Subsequently, within another 15 days, the Directorate is required to double-check the applicant’s compliance and issue the licence afterwards (Law 126, 2008, Art. 36). As of 2021, the MoSS has announced that it has begun to manage the operations of 25,000 licenced and non-licensed nurseries and to ease their (application/licensing) processing.
Profit-making: The 2014 Ministerial Decree No. 420 (Art. 2(a)) states that private schools should aim to assist in the care of children in kindergarten as well as at the elementary and high school level in accordance with the plans and curricula used in other state schools, and its primary goal should be to turn a profit.
Taxes and subsidies: A nursery “may accept donations, grants, subsidies and legacies offered thereto by Egyptian individuals or organizations. However, those offered by foreign or international individuals or organizations may not be accepted unless approved by the Ministry responsible for social affairs.” In addition, a portion of the profits earned by public administration companies will be added to the funds of the governorates (and is reserved to support (all) nurseries) (Law 126, 2008, Art. 38). Additional regulations concerning the distribution of subsidies are determined by the Governorates’ bylaws. Such subsidies may be discontinued if the nursery does not comply with the provisions of the 2008 Law 126 (Art. 40).
Quality of teaching and learning
Curriculum and education standards: The 2018 Ministerial Decree No. 342 (Art. 4) states that the directors of the education directorates in the Governorates can make the necessary changes to the curricula taught in nurseries, as long as it does not affect the basic content of the educational program and the approval of the head of the public education sector. In 2021, the MoSS announced that it will revise and develop the curriculum for early childhood education (nurseries) alongside the MoE in line with the curriculum developed for the kindergarten and elementary education levels.
Teaching profession: In relation to kindergartens, the 1996 Ministerial Decree No. 1 and No. 2 led to the establishment of two centres that were later merged to focus on training kindergarten teachers. The 1998 Ministerial Decree No. 21 further specified the activities of this centre, including “…training kindergarten teachers, holding training courses and sessions for KG teachers wishing to get promotion and move to higher jobs in the same field, [and] regulating programs for training parents” (p. 32). In addition, preschool teachers must be highly qualified in cultural, academic, and educational fields by taking such courses in university while further being capable of aiding in children’s development. No information was found regarding the salaries, benefits, and types of regulations that apply to ECCE non-state teachers.
Fee-setting: The Egyptian MoE released the standardized tuition fees to be made at different levels for the public sector. For example, for the academic year 2020/21, the 2020 Ministerial Decree No. 155 stipulates that children attending kindergartens in the public sector for the academic year 2020/21 are required to pay 19 USD (300 EGP). No information was found on regulations for the tuition fees of children attending nurseries or kindergartens in the non-state sector.
Admission selection and processes: No regulation stating the non-state institutions have to follow certain admission criteria was found. Although the program offered for kindergarteners between the ages of four to five aligns with the International Standard Classification of Education 0 (ISCED-0), meeting this standard is not a condition for such children to be enrolled.
Policies for vulnerable groups: Although the 2014-30 Strategic Plan for Pre-University Education identifies one of its main executive objectives of 2016/17 as being that children residing in poor and isolated areas should not have to pay any school fees, it does not specify whether this should further apply to children in non-state nurseries or kindergartens.
Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability
Reporting requirements: A nursery is required to keep records of all its activities from a technical, financial, and administrative perspective in accordance with the models drawn up by the MoSS, which must be stored within the nursery (Law 126, 2008, Art. 37). In 2021, the MoSS announced that it will also create an integrated database that encompasses all existing nurseries while facilitating their compliance with the (quality assurance) standards established by the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education.
Inspection: Specific administrative bodies within the MoSS are required to conduct inspections and ensure that nurseries comply with the provisions and regulations of the law (Law 126, 2008, Art. 39). The article does not specify whether it applies to state and non-state nurseries, although the law itself does identify and address non-state nurseries.
Child assessment: Children in all nurseries are to be evaluated based on their performance, individual behaviour and group behaviour, and oral tasks. They are evaluated using a four-colour scale: “always exceeds expectations” (blue), “meets expectations” (green), “sometimes meets expectations” (yellow), and “less than is expected” (red) (Ministerial Decree No. 342, 2018, Art. 6).
Sanctions: In each directorate, the respective Committee for Nursery Affairs is tasked with deciding upon temporarily closing a nursery or placing it under the management of the Directorate of Social Affairs in case its management is insufficient or the nursery is not being used for its intended purpose (Law 126, 2008, Art. 40(2)). In addition, “the nursery may not be closed down after obtaining its licence, except by virtue of a substantiated decision issued by the Committee for Nursery Affairs in the Governorate” (Art. 41).
Registration and approval: A request to establish a non-state school must be submitted to the education directorate in the specified Governorate at least four months before the school year is to start. The applicant should follow the specifications of the education directorates in this regard (Law No. 139, 1981, Art. 59). and Ministerial Decree No. 420., 2014, Art. 7). The Directorate of Education must investigate the request in light of the general education plan, the needs of the governorate, and the risks associated with the request within 30 days of its submission (Law No. 139, 1981, Art. 59 and Ministerial Decree No. 420., 2014, Art. 10).
Non-state school is not allowed to begin its activities before receiving final approval from the education directorate (Law No. 139, 1981, Art. 60). Upon receiving approval of the request, the licence applicant must submit all the necessary documents within 15 days to the directorate. A technical committee must then carry out an inspection to determine compliance and, within two months of this having taken place, the Directorate of Education subsequently inform the applicant of how suitable the location, building, and facilities are, while also meeting other requirements.
The non-state school building must meet certain conditions stipulated in Egypt’s Unified Building Law in addition to other building specifications. In addition, all non-state schools must also have medical clinics and a doctor who frequently visits the school and examines the students’ health while undertaking vaccination and other immunization measures (Ministerial Decree No. 420., 2014, Art. 4).
Licence: The appropriate education directorate issues licences (Law No. 139, 1981, Art. 57 and Ministerial Decree No. 420., 2014, Art. 3). While secondary schools must also follow the required guidelines, they have the additional requirement of attaining the approval of the Minister within the national education policy framework. Upon receiving a licence, the school system cannot be changed. It also cannot alter its study plans, add additional grades, change the location of the school, or make further modifications in relation to what the licence was based upon (Law No. 139, 1981, Art. 61).
Some of the information that must be submitted to obtain a licence to open a non-state school include (a) the name of the school, registration number, address, and contact information (b) the name of the (Egyptian) legal owner, his/her personal information, and registrant number (c) the name, contact information, and qualifications of the legal representative of the owner, (d) the type of education offered (Arabic or Multilanguage) (e) whether the school is single-sex or mixed, and (f) the educational levels, the number of classes available per grade, and the number of students that can be accommodated (Ministerial Decree No. 420, 2014, Art. 12).
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): No information was found.
Profit-making: No information was found.
Taxes and subsidies: In addition to needing to comply with education, labour, and insurance laws, schools must fulfil their financial obligations toward the eligible entities by paying all taxes, insurance, and pension payments (Ministerial Decree No. 420., 2014, Art. 21(5)). The owners of free, subsidized non-state schools are responsible for paying the rent for the school building, although the directorates and administrative organs of the governorates are responsible for paying for any repairs or maintenance of the subsidized non-state schools, similarly to their governmental counterparts (Art. 67). In addition, in the event that the owner of a free, subsidized non-state school fails to fulfil his or her duties toward the school, the competent educational directorate or administration may pay for some of the school’s expenses out of the governmental subsidy (Art. 69).
Quality of teaching and learning
Curriculum and education standards: Non-state schools can teach additional languages aside from the prescribed official curriculum or study separate curricula aside from the official one although this must be approved by the Minister of Education and the Supreme Council for Pre-University Education (Ministerial Decree No. 420., 2014, Art. 2). No further requirements concerning the curricula, subjects, or languages of instruction that may be taught in non-state schools have been found.
In Al-Azhar schools, the curriculum that is followed is the same as secular public schools, although Islamic studies are more heavily emphasized, such as the subjects of Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamic Anthology, Tafsir ([typically Qur’anic] exegesis), and Tawhid (Islamic monotheism) at the high school level. In middle school, other subjects are taught, including Tajweed (Qur’anic recital), the Basics of Religion (Islam), and Calligraphy.
Textbooks and learning materials: The 2014 Ministerial Decree No. 420 does not provide any information on textbook or learning material requirements.
Teaching profession: Most teachers need to have a teaching qualification or certificates such as TEFL, and at least two years of experience in a relevant field. A 1989 policy stipulates that all primary school teachers must have a university degree in education. Teachers must also undergo a background check, obtain a work and residence permit and prove that they are medically fit. Salaries for teachers in the non-state sector vary according to qualifications and experience. No information was found on working conditions.
Corporal punishment: A ministerial directive of 17 November 1998 states that corporal punishment should not be used in schools. However, no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment was found in the law. A 2014 decree also “absolutely prohibit[s]” physical punishment or verbal abuse of students subject to penalties under the “Rules Organizing the Disciplinary Responsibility of Civil Servants.”
Other safety measures and COVID-19: School principals in non-state schools must undertake all measures needed to ensure the safety and security of students and staff members while they are in school, on field trips, or while undertaking any assignments or activities (Ministerial Decree No. 420, 2014, Art. 24(8)).
Fee-setting: Non-state schools are forbidden from imposing additional financial fees or expenses (i.e. for interviewing [new] students) aside from those approved by the educational administration (Ministerial Decree No. 420., 2014, Art. 13(e)).
Upon obtaining their licence, non-state schools (based on the definition which excludes the categories of nurseries overseen by the MoSS, (foreign) international schools, and (foreign) cultural centres) are also forbidden from changing the value of the tuition fees without receiving the permission of the body that issued the licence (Law No. 139, 1981, Art. 61). In addition to establishing internal bylaws regarding its operation, every non-state school can determine the tuition fees it receives from students at every educational level, and its workflow system, with a decision being issued concerning this matter by the governor in question (Art. 62).
In addition, tuition fee increases are capped at 17% for schools in which tuition fees are less than approximately 38 USD (600 EGP) at the lower limit, 13% for schools with tuition fees that are between 38 and 57 USD (600 and 900 EGP), 10% for schools that charge between 57 and 127 USD (900 and 2,000 EGP), 7% for schools that charge between 127 and 191 USD (2,000 and 3,000 EGP), 5% for schools that charge between 191 and 256 USD (3,000 and 4,000 EGP), and 3% for schools that charge more than 256 USD (4,000 EGP) (Ministerial Decree No. 290, 2014, Art. 2). In addition, Article 3 prevents international non-state schools from increasing their tuition fees by more than 7% for already enrolled students.
Admission selection and processes: No information was found.
Policies for vulnerable groups: No information was found.
Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability
School board: The 2011 Ministerial Decree No. 289 stipulates that every school must have a Board of Trustees, Parents, and Teachers consisting of parents, teachers, and members of civil society that are interested in educational matters. This further applies to non-state schools, as is stipulated in Ministerial Decree No. 425 of 2012 which amends the abovementioned Decree.
Reporting requirements: No information was found.
School inspection: The concerned education directorate is tasked with supervising non-state schools in all respects, similar to state schools, and is also required to supervise admissions exams and transfers, in addition to undertaking administrative and financial inspections (Law No. 139, 1981, Art. 66). However, since its establishment in 2006/07, the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education (NAQAAE) has been tasked with further supervising state and non-state pre-university education. In this regard, NAQAAE attempts to accredit such educational bodies and ensure that they fulfil certain quality standards while maintaining their own internal quality systems.
Student assessment: The assigned educational or administrative directorate is responsible for proctoring exams in non-state schools (Ministerial Decree No. 420., 2014, Art. 41). The assigned educational department is tasked with approving and reviewing the exam results, while additionally storing a copy of the students’ grades (Art. 42).
Diplomas and degrees: No information was found.
Sanctions: Two main regulations coexist. First, in the event that a non-state school violates the existing education laws and ministerial decrees, the Central Committee for Private Education can undertake one of the following measures: a) warning the school to desist from its violation, b) placing the school under financial and administrative supervision, c) preventing the school from accepting new students, and d) permanently nullifying the school’s permit. Such measures can only be undertaken upon attaining the approval of the minister (Ministerial Decree No. 299, 2015, Art. 1).
Second, upon proving that a non-state school is committing any of the violations stipulated in the 1981 Law No. 139, such as changing the school system from one level to another or by adding new grade(s) or changing the location of the school, an education directorate has the power to place the school under financial and administrative supervision. In this case, the education directorate will take over the administration of the school until the violation is no longer being committed (Art. 61).
By contrast, there are 27 state universities, six technological universities, and a number of colleges of technology.
Registration and approval: The 2019 Law 12 regulates the establishment of a private university. It states that an applicant must have enough capital to prepare to establish a non-state university and undertake all operations. The majority share of the capital must be owned by Egyptian shareholders and the capital provided by the founders must not be less than a third of the invested money at a maximum of 1,276,136.86 USD (20 million EGP). The cash shares must be deposited in a local bank that is approved by the Central Bank of Egypt and in an account that is allocated to the university which cannot be used until approval (Art. 4). However, the account cannot be used until a decision is reached by the President of the Republic of Egypt regarding the establishment of the university or if the request is rejected. The founders of the non-state university cannot be presidents or deans of other universities or colleges (Art. 5).
To establish a university, a request must be submitted to the Ministry by the representative/agent of the founders. The information that must be submitted includes: (1) the name of the university and its location, (2) the goals of the university, (3) the names, nationalities, and personal information of the founders, (4) the human and financial resources available to the university, (5) a detailed study that considers the location of the university and its suitability, (6) the capital allocated for the university and the percentage of shares owned by each founder, (7) a comprehensive economic and financial feasibility study, (8) a draft of the internal regulations of the university, (9) the colleges, departments, and higher education institutes and the research entities that make up the university, (10) the arrangement of the University Council and other University Council bodies, (11) suggested conditions for student acceptance for different colleges and departments, (12) general rules for free or partial scholarships for Egyptian students, (13) the length, organization, and methods used in curricula and exams, the degrees offered and the certificates and diplomas that are awarded, (14) the university’s plan to further the development of staff members (especially regarding hiring professors and their retirement), (15) the university’s suggestions regarding cooperating with other Egyptian, Arab, and foreign universities, (16) the suggested start of the academic year, and (17) how to dispose of university funds In the event that the university cannot continue operating (Art. 6).
The minister is required to present the request to establish a university to the Supreme Council of Private and Non-Profit Universities. The Council is tasked with inspecting the request while taking into consideration (a) the extent to which the university is capable of improving the quality of higher education (among other things) and (b) the existence of sufficient human and financial capabilities to fulfil the goals of the university before it begins undertaking its operations. The council must also indicate its opinion regarding the establishment of the university with regards to accepting or refusing within three months from the application submission date (Law 12, 2019, Art. 7).
In relation to foreign universities interested in establishing international branch campuses (IBCs) in Egypt, the 2018 Law No. 162 (Art. 4) stipulates that the home campus must bear all costs involved in its operation and it must vow to the Ministry or stipulate in relation to any natural or legal persons in a contract that it will build the necessary buildings and bear all associated costs. The request to establish this branch must be accompanied by a copy of the contract and a verified translation in the Arabic language. In addition, the 2018 Ministerial Decree No. 4200 (Art. 5) further specifies an additional 20 documents and/or requirements that the home campus must supply to the MoHESR.
Licence: The Ministry must inform the applicant of the Supreme Council of Private and Non-Profit Universities’ acceptance or rejection of the application to establish a non-state university through a written letter within 30 days of having accepted or rejected the request (Law 12, 2019, Art. 8). In the event that the application is accepted, the applicant must submit a number of additional documents to the Ministry within a period of six months (Art. 9). These include (a) a preliminary plan of the university’s buildings and facilities, (b) the names of the nominated candidates for the Board of Trustees, (c) the names of the nominated auditors, and (d) an undertaking from the applicant to transfer ownership of all real estate to the university (Art. 9). In accordance with Article 11, the council must create a technical committee consisting of experienced university professors to examine the information, studies, and documents submitted to establish the non-state university. The committee must then submit its report within three months of having received the abovementioned documents. The council will subsequently make its final decision regarding the establishment of the non-state university within three months of having received the report from the technical committee.
In relation to foreign universities establishing branches in Egypt, the Minister of Higher Education must issue a decision to establish a committee chaired by himself or herself which includes representatives of the ministries and relevant governmental authorities. This committee is tasked with studying the applications of foreign universities (Law No. 162, 2018, Art. 6). The decision to issue the licence must be made by the Egyptian president, based on the minister’s suggestion and upon taking the opinion of the committee, consulting relevant authorities, and attaining the approval of the Council of Ministers (Art. 7). If the decision is approved, a licence will be issued once the applicant pays a fee of 5% of the approved budget to establish the branch (Art. 11).
Profit-making: Non-state higher bodies and universities in Egypt are understood to be for-profit institutions. A non-profit university has an annual budget that determines its revenue and expenditure, provided that what it may achieve from the net surplus resulting from its activities is used to further its development, raise its educational and research efficiency, and aid in community service, environmental development, student care, and fund scholarships and study grants for outstanding individuals (Law 12, 2009, Art. 29).
Taxes and subsidies: Non-state higher education bodies do not receive funding or subsidies from the government. International branch campuses are required to pay 2% of their annual profit in taxes by the end of December to ensure the continued renewal of the licence in Egypt (Law No. 162, 2018, Art. 11).
Quality of teaching and learning
Curriculum and education standards: The international branch campuses (IBCs) must notify the concerned Ministry of the curriculum that is being taught therein to ensure that it follows the curriculum taught in the home campus. Any deviations must be approved by the involved minister (Law No. 162, 2018, Art. 20(2)).
Teaching profession: Teachers must have (a) a good reputation and (b) have not received a felony or a freedom-restricting punishment for a crime involving a breach of honour or trust, unless he or she has been rehabilitated (Law 12, 2009, Art. 18). Assistant professors must also have at least five years of teaching experience at a university level and professors must have at least ten years of experience in this regard and have published scientific research that is commensurate with the position of the appointee. The specialization and research of faculty members is reviewed by specialized committees under the Supreme Council of Private and Non-Profit Universities (Art. 18). Aside from having good reputations and receiving a good grade in their field of specialization, teaching assistants at non-state and non-profit universities must also have a master’s degree or its equivalent in their field of specialization or two higher education diplomas that qualify them to enroll as PhD candidates or attain an equivalent degree (Art. 23).
Fee-setting: The Supreme Council of Private and Non-profit Universities determines the tuition fee range that can be demanded by non-state higher education institutions. International branch campuses (IBCs) can decide the tuition fees they charge students, which must be listed in Egyptian pounds, although it is possible to collect the payments from foreign students in their own currencies. The branch is not allowed to increase the tuition fees for students that are already enrolled except by the percentage that they were notified of when they first enrolled (Law No. 162, 2018, Art. 18).
Admission selection and processes: Students to be accepted to non-state universities for a bachelor’s degree must have earned a secondary diploma or its equivalent. They must further adhere to the minimum total eligibility requirements for admission according to what is determined by the Council based on existing quality standards and the admission requirements set by the University Council (Law 12, 2009, Art. 24). In addition, the Supreme Council of Private and Non-profit Universities determines the number of students that can be admitted to each university based on its capacity, taking into account the human and material capabilities available at the university in accordance with quality standards (Art. 25). The bylaws of each university must indicate the various types of student services systems that are in place (Art. 26). In international branch campuses (IBCs), students are also required to comply with the admission criteria established by the home campus (Law No. 162, 2018, Art. 20).
Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability
Board: The Board of Trustees for a non-state university must have a procedural session with the attendance of the majority of the members (Law 12, 2009, Art. 15). The oldest of the members is required to lead the rest in choosing a president and vice president. The election amongst the members is confidential and every member has the right to choose only one candidate for the position of president. The Board of Trustees must also establish a three-member committee to count the votes and announce the results. The university must establish an academic council that is chaired by the president of the university and includes the vice president, the deans of the university’s colleges and higher education institutions, and a minister-appointed consultant to the university (Art. 16).
Reporting requirements: The Minister of Higher Education’s advisor at the non-state or non-profit university is required to submit a report to the Minister at the end of each semester to present to the Supreme Council of Private and Non-profit Universities. This further includes the advisor’s report on the university’s educational process, and in particular regarding existing admission procedures, studying, examination systems, faculty members, and their assistants (Law 12, 2009, Art. 34). The non-state and non-profit universities must maintain regular financial accounts and records in accordance with the principles and accounting standards in place, and the periodic financial reports, budgets and final accounts are subject to the supervision and approval of the university's auditors (Art. 30).
Inspection: No information was found.
Student assessment: No information was found.
Diplomas and degrees: Most non-state universities in Egypt only offer undergraduate degrees.
Sanctions: If the non-state or non-profit university violates the provisions of the law or this bylaw, other regulations, or the decisions of the Supreme Council of Private and Non-Profit Universities, the Council may - after warning the university and allowing it to rectify the violation - propose measures to eliminate the causes of the violation. This includes suggesting halting the admission of new students until all required measures are fulfilled within one year. Based on this proposal, the minister, in consultation with NAQAAE, may issue a suspension decision to prevent the university from accepting new students until the violation is removed (Law 12, 2009, Art. 35).
In the event that the university can't continue performing its educational tasks, measures are taken to obtain a decision from the President of the Republic to nullify the decision to establish the university based on the minister's proposal after the approval of the council. The approval of the council for the cancellation must include how the university has been managed since the issuance of the cancellation decision until all enrolled students graduate and the manner in which this is done. It should also reflect how the university funds should be liquidated, as specified in the documents upon which the decision to establish the university was issued.
If an international branch campus (IBCs) is violating the articles of a law, ministerial decree, or council decision, the minister can (in cases where it is necessary and upon taking the opinion of the Council of International Branch Campuses Affair) warn the branch and undertake measures to limit its operation, i.e. by preventing it from accepting new students (Law No. 162, 2018, Art. 24).
3.2 Supplementary private tutoring
Egypt has long been known for its high rates of private tutoring, with the phenomenon having been embedded in the culture and economic interests of various stakeholders. In 2014, 91% of Grade 12 students indicated that they were either currently receiving tutoring or, if already graduated, had received tutoring during that year. Due to the high-stakes exams taken by secondary students to enter university, private tutoring has increased in Egypt, with many private test prep schools further being established. Extensive tutoring has been reported for all grades, even grade 1 where 33% of surveyed students reported receiving private lessons and a further 9% in fee-paying groups in 2012.
In fact, Egyptian statistics in the early 2000s indicated that households were spending more money on tutoring than the Ministry of Education spent on schooling, with an estimated 12-15 billion Egyptian pounds per annum compared to the 10 billion Egyptian pound budget spent by the Ministry, with expenditures remaining high in 2021.
Tutoring can generally be categorized into (1) ‘private lessons’ taught on a one-to-one basis in small groups and (2) ‘study groups’ or ‘reinforcement classes’ in private tutoring centres, mosques, churches, or at a school. Some of these classes can reach up to 1,200 students, with 300-500 students being more common for group tutoring.
There are also many private tutoring centres that don’t register at all and operate illegally, with out-of-school private tutoring considered to have “damaged a generation of young people and corrupted the educational process”. To combat this phenomenon, the government has made efforts to increasingly provide in-school tutoring at lower prices. Due to the financial strain placed on families as a result of private tutoring, the MoE may ban the practice. Research indicates that teachers force students to pay for extra tutoring, which increases the financial pressure on the poorest members of society.
Individuals are not permitted to arrange private tuition [institutions] without a licence that is obtained from the concerned education directorate (Law No. 162, 2018, Art. 57). However, some centres register as language or computer centres and then add tutoring illegally, with others not registered at all.
Financial operation and quality
Forms of private tutoring are officially sanctioned on school premises. In 1986, it was made mandatory for schools to offer tutoring classes with the aim to combat out-of-school private tutoring and to “alleviate financial burdens by providing in-school tutoring at lower prices”. In 2016, fees for in-school classes were increased, with the Ministry stating that these classes were voluntary.
Since 1947, teachers have been prohibited from offering private lessons inside or outside schools without the required permission from the Ministry of Education and their schools. In 1998, follow-up regulations prohibited all private lessons by state school teachers, with a 2013 decree stressing the authority of both the Ministry of Education and top administrators in each of the 27 Governorates to pursue disciplinary action against teachers providing these lessons inside or outside schools or in any public or private establishment.
This profile has been drafted by the Al Qasimi Foundation to support the PEER evidence base for the 2021/2 GEM Report on non-state actors in education.