U.S. and Egypt Sign 5-Year University Partnership Program

CAIRO –  Egyptian and U.S. officials launched today the $57 million Higher Education Program (HEPP), a key component of the flagship $250 million Higher Education Initiative (HEI) that the two countries announced in April 2015. The U.S. government-funded program will award up to 15 partnership grants, each for three years, with at least half of the grant funding reserved for Egyptian institutions of higher learning.

“Egypt’s growing economy requires a better-educated, skilled workforce,” said Sherry Carlin, Mission Director for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Cairo.  “The Higher Education Partnership Program will expand the quality and scope of educational opportunities to ensure that the skills of graduates will match the demands of the 21st century economy and labor market.”

Representing the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Ashraf Hatem, Chairman for the Supreme Council for Universities, noted: that HEPP “comes out of a study of successful experiences with other countries that are building partnerships with Egyptian universities and their foreign counterparts.”

Following their remarks, Dr. Hatem and Ms.Carlin witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by representatives of the Federation of Egyptian Industries and USAID Cairo’s implementing partner for HEPP, the North Carolina-based Research Triangle Institute (RTI).

Other speakers and attendees included Eng. Mohamed El Sewedy, Chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Industries; General Mohamed el Halawani, the head of the technical education sector (representing the Ministry of Education); Dr. Mohsen El-Mahdy Said, the head of the Higher Education Partnership Program; and Ms. Sahar Sallam, Undersecretary for Economic Cooperation with the United States, Ministry of International Cooperation.

The five-year, $57 million HEPP partnership program will help develop the long-term institutional capacity of Egyptian universities and technical colleges to generate well-qualified young graduates who can then move on to jobs that require high skills.

Through this innovative public-private partnership, a coalition of American and Egyptian universities and private sector partners will facilitate faculty exchanges and joint research, build a critical mass of talented individuals and successful academic institutions in Egypt, and contribute to Egypt’s growth and competitiveness in the global economy.

Held at the Conrad hotel, the Launch event today included a call for Expressions of Interest from qualified Egyptian and U.S. higher education institutions (particularly universities) interested in participating in HEPP.  A separate call for Expressions of Interest, to be released later in the year, will focus on applied research partnerships between Egyptian and U.S. universities and companies.